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 University will be using the Grand Hall at the front of the building to 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, 4 August 2014.
There will also be a family fun day to officially launch The Gateway in the Market Square on Thursday, 7 August 2014 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: “After announcing our plans to set up at Shire Hall we have been looking forward to the moment we could say when we would be opening.
“There will be some work carried out to configure the space in the Grand Hall and get it ready to start welcoming prospective students.
“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: “Shire Hall is a hugely significant building for the people of Stafford and this partnership with the University will ensure it continues to play a vibrant part at the heart of the county town.
“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 the Stafford website.
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Date Issued: Tuesday, 29 July 2014