Update on Sparrows

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Hello everyone,

I wanted to address the questions and rumours about the future of Sparrows Bar in Avery Hill. The question was first raised at our Annual Members Meeting in November 2017, and there has been a range of questions and feedback from you since then.

At our recent Trustee Board meeting on Tuesday 29th May, one of the points on the agenda was about Sparrows and making a decision about its future. There were a number of options presented including:

  1. keeping the venue open as is
  2. keep the venue open for term one only
  3. close the venue for good
  4. close the venue, however developing alternative offer (that is not a nightclub) from the Students’ Union at Avery Hill.

After looking at research and data around these options and having a long and full discussion, the Trustee Board, which included the current Full-time Officers, along with our Student Trustees, External Trustees and Officer elect in attendance, unanimously decided to close Sparrows at the end of summer 2018.

The decision was made considering a number of factors including the fact that it makes a substantial loss, age of equipment, the falling attendance numbers, late arrival of customers at events, and that only 15% of people that live on Avery Hill or in the whole SE9 postcode area have ever used Sparrows this year.

The Trustee Board and Union Officers and staff are keen that there is still a social offer at Avery Hill next year and beyond, but not a nightclub. We are currently working with our University partners to scope what the alternatives can be, ensuring that is relevant and right for our students that come to and/or live near and on campus.

Your incoming Full-time Officers will be part of this process too - if you want to give us some idea and suggestions to be part of this work, get in touch with me at m.imberg@gre.ac.uk.

There are other things to look forward to next year as well. As I’m sure you know, we are moving to the new Student Hub in the Dreadnought building on the Greenwich campus. This new space will include a state of the art radio studio, meeting rooms for just students, a new coffee shop, and a new food and drink venue called the Lower Deck.

The Lower Deck is a 500 capacity venue that will provide great entertainment, deals and great quality food and drink at value prices. It will be the best student bar in Greenwich. Part of our work will be looking at improving transport between Greenwich and Avery Hill to make it easier for you to get from Avery Hill to Dreadnought, so watch this space!

For our Clubs and Societies, you can hold your social events here (however big or small!). The Lower Deck will be providing sponsorship to our teams and Societies, and Sparrows activities will continue at the Lower Deck, such as Wednesday sports nights. If you are not in a Society or Club but are a student or Alumni of Greenwich, you can hold your social events here too. If you want to register your interest to book the Lower Deck for a student led event, contact Onyinye Nkemdirim, our Student Activities Manager at O.D.Nkemdirim@greenwich.ac.uk

On behalf of everyone at the Union, I’d like to thank the full-time and student staff team at Sparrows for their hard work over the last few years - it’s the end of an era! We’d also like to thank the thousands of students who have attended and partied at Sparrows. We’re sad to see it close; however, we know it’s for the best.

Our job as a Union is to represent you - our members - and provide services that you’ll enjoy and use; we hope that our new home in Dreadnought and new social offer at Avery Hill will do this for you.

If you have any queries, please email m.imberg@gre.ac.uk.

Again, thank you for the love for Sparrows - it will be sorely missed. #weheartsparrows

Meike Imberg
SU President 2017 - 2019


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