Image Credit: Luke Brown
The Courtyard, Derwent College’s main campus bar, has opened its doors again this term with a fresh look.
Tables have been varnished and chairs cleaned, but the most noticeable change is the refurbished outdoor area. The tables have been given a trendy lick of light blue paint and new Guiness umbrellas for very sunny or rainy days.
Sam Ralph, a third-year student, said that “it has much more of a beer garden vibe now.”
But students will likely be more interested to hear that The Courtyard now serves Birra Moretti on draught (at £4.30 per pint). There is also a new selection of gins for those who wouldn’t dare to drink anything out of a pint glass.
However, YUSU has gone beyond decor and drinks. Staff at The Courtyard, in line with all other YUSU bar staff, will from this term onwards be paid £9.00 per hour. This will increase next year as YUSU aims to eventually pay the Real Living Wage by 2022.
The Courtyard is the oldest YUSU campus bar, so a renewal had been long overdue.
Alex Roberts, a new member of staff, told Nouse that the new look “gives The Courtyard a new start for a new year.”
“After a pretty rubbish year of lockdowns, it’s great that one of the university’s main bars has been given a makeover. And I can’t complain about the pay rise either.”
The Courtyard is open from 9am–11pm between Monday and Friday, opening at 11am on Saturday and 12pm on Sunday.
Nouse approached YUSU concerning the Courtyard’s refurbishment and YUSU wages, and YUSU President Patrick O’Donnell responded that: “We’re delighted to be on the road to becoming a Real Living Wage employer, with all members of student staff receiving at least £10.09 per hour, including holiday pay. This will rise again to match the Real Living Wage from 1st August 2022."
“After a challenging eighteen months for the hospitality trade, the commitment of our student staff means that we are able to introduce these changes as one way to recognise their efforts. We are really proud of all our staff members working in our venues, and those who support our events, activities, IT and communications.”
He went on to talk about the recent refurbishment, which took longer than expected, during the past academic year.
“Progress with the outdoor refurbishment of The Courtyard has come on significantly over the summer break. Unfortunately, various issues which aren’t immediately visible, including asbestos being identified underneath the old decking structure, meant that the project was delayed and costs increased."
"We are awaiting the arrival of larger tent canopies, and like the rest of the UK in recent months, are unfortunately experiencing a variety of logistical delays and interruptions. Final completion is expected very soon.”
Although there may still be some finishing touches awaiting, The Courtyard is benefitting from a spruce-up after a year of closures and delays. A popular venue for students and societies, and already this term being used for college events such as the Alcuin Freshers’ Week quiz, the return of one of YUSU’s flagship bars can only mean good things for members of the university.