Plans are underway to modernise and expand The Ark in an effort to meet the needs of one of the UK’s biggest and most diverse student population. Many students feel that the Ark’s ‘dingy pub’ aura is a disgrace when compared to ‘super-venues’ of universities such as Manchester and Birmingham.
These run large-scale club nights, host prestigious bands and provide a wide range of food during the day but are still intimate enough to hold a weekly pub quiz. SU President Dave Willey told Impact: “We would like a venue which is more than a place to drink, to create somewhere where all students feel welcome, including postgraduates and international students. We see this taking shape with better daytime food provision, a larger range of non-alcoholic drinks and a more open atmosphere. We would also like to include a bigger venue for night-time events – I think this is something that a lot of students feel Nottingham lacks.”
Full details and planning permission have yet to be finalised but with the transferral of the university’s administration department to the Kingsmeadow campus, space in the Portland building is available for Ark expansion. Willey believes this is the year to take action, stating: “We see a central Students’ Union being a huge part of the experience that students have whilst at university. We feel that The Ark, in its current form, does not satisfy our needs as a central social venue. More details will emerge once the new term gets underway.”