The Gateway, based in the Grand Hall at the front of the building, is a new advice and information centre for people who want to find out more about the University and its courses. There is also help available with the application process and information about finances.
The centre opened its doors at 9am yesterday (Monday, 4 August) and potential students have already started to make enquiries, including about the University’s next Open Day on Saturday, 16 August 2014.
The University secured the use of part of the historic Shire Hall in the town’s Market Square following an agreement with Staffordshire County Council.
The opening of The Gateway will be celebrated with a family fun day in the Market Square on Thursday (7 August) 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.
Professor Ann Holmes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, said: “We are delighted to have opened The Gateway in Stafford in such a wonderful historic building. Shire Hall is in a great location in the heart of the town and we’re really looking forward to welcoming prospective students and their families through the doors.
“This is always a busy time for the University with A-Level results day and the start of Clearing on 14 August, and people in Stafford will now have an excellent place to go for advice and guidance.
“We’re looking to work with our partners and the local community to develop a range of courses and learning opportunities in the future.”
Councillor Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader, said: "Shire Hall is a hugely significant building for the people of Stafford and it is fantastic to see the University open its doors here.
"It is great news for Stafford, for students and for the local economy and we look forward to seeing the partnership between the county council and the university flourish over the coming years.”
Councillor Mike Heenan, Leader of Stafford Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that all the hard work has come to fruition and we are looking forward to welcoming the students to our county town. I hope it marks the start of a long and prosperous relationship for students and the University in Stafford. And I hope this week provides a great opportunity to show people what the University has to offer.”
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.
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.
Picture caption 1: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Ann Holmes, and Councillor Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader at the opening of The Gateway at Shire Hall in Stafford.
Picture caption 2: (L-R) Dean of Students Jon Elsmore with staff members at The Gateway Oliver Speke, Graduate Trainee Advisor, Monica Belhouche, Senior Careers Consultant, and Rosa Sorrento, Receptionist/Clerical Assistant.
For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736.
Date Issued: Tuesday, 05 August 2014