THE UNIVERSITY of Wolverhampton’s new centre in Stafford opens its doors to the public next week.
The university recently announced it had secured the use of part of the historic Shire Hall in the town’s Market Square following an agreement with Staffordshire County Council.
The Grand Hall at the front of the building will house The Gateway, a new advice and information centre for prospective students who want to find out more about the university and need guidance on what courses to study, finance or assistance with the application process.
Work to transform the Great Hall began this week and The Gateway will open to the public at 9am on Monday (August 4).
There will be a family fun day to launch The Gateway in the Market Square next Thursday (August 7) from 10am to 3pm, featuring the university’s Science Shack team who will be performing interactive science demonstrations on the day. There will also be face-painting and crafts for children as well as music provided by the university’s jazz band.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “To be opening right in the heart of Stafford in such a prominent location is great. We are very excited to be part of the town and to be working with the county and borough councils and a range of other partners.
“Once we have established this phase we want to work with our partners and the local community to develop a range of courses and learning opportunities to meet the needs of the area.”
Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “We believe the education hub is a perfect fit for Shire Hall and we are very much looking forward to the energy an influx of new students promises to bring to the town.”
The university intends to retain the art gallery space, which it aims to use for student and community exhibition space as well as the historic court rooms, which will remain accessible to the public.
It will also seek to run a range of courses from the centre in a range of disciplines in the near future.
The Shire Hall will remain in Staffordshire County Council ownership and the council will continue with its regular exhibition programme in the shared Great Hall in addition to operating the craft shop, coffee bar, multi-sensory room and Stafford library.
For more information, visit www.wlv.ac.uk/stafford.