Medway Essentials to CLOSE

Medway Essentials - Photo: Medwire

Medway Essentials – Photo: Medwire

In an email to students, Kent Union President Tammy Naidoo announced that from 1 August 2015, Medway Essentials will close. The decision is based on the decline in the number of students using the shop, resulting in a 15% decline in revenue. This has led to losses which have become unsustainable, according to GK Unions.

Medway Essentials had been losing money for several years, and faced closure in 2014, but was prevented following a huge outcry from students, which included a petition (Save Essentials @ Medway) signed by nearly 1,000 people. On that occasion, a subsidy from the University of Kent and the University of Greenwich prevented closure.

The Union have justified their decision by saying that 70% of Essentials stock is available elsewhere on campus. Additionally, student services previously delivered by Medway Essentials will be transferred to the Pilkington Reception and Cooper’s Bar.

A new Asda supermarket opposite the Chatham Docks campus is also due to open in September 2015.

The Union also highlighted their plans to open a new student hub, the C4 building, on the Medway campus, creating what they call a ‘home from home’ for students. Planning permission for this was given last week, and the new hub is due to be open by September 2016. It will include a bar and cafe, as well as a new home for GK Unions.

There has been very little reaction to the news of the closure from students on social media. One Medway student remarked that although students were very passionate about the issue last year, there was a sense of resignation that Essentials would close this year.

Whilst students can hope services will not be too heavily affected by the closure, many will feel sorrow that a service people fought so hard for has now been ended.



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