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Aidan Grills

 February 10, 2016 | Simon Jenkins

As Chief Executive of Leeds University Union, Aidan Grills knows better than most people the urgency of this refurbishment. “For many students, visiting the Union building for the first time doesn’t just mark the beginning of their time at Leeds – it also represents the start of the passions, interests and friendships that will last a lifetime,” he says.

“I know that there’s much more to a Leeds education than attending lectures or studying at the Brotherton Library late into the night. Our many societies, clubs and sports teams ensure that students enjoy a truly well-rounded education.

“But when the Union building first opened in 1939 there were about 2,000 students and 60 societies and sports clubs. Today, there are more than 32,000 eager students all hoping to make their mark on our campus and an incredible 320 societies all needing places to meet. At the moment, the Union building simply can’t cope.

“Your gift could help to fund the biggest restoration project the Union building has ever seen, breathing new life into this space right at the heart of student life. By reconfiguring the interior of the building more effectively, we will create 30% more usable space – giving students the facilities worthy of a world-class institution where they can explore their new-found interests and develop new skills.

“With your help we can restore Leeds University Union to be the buzzing hub of activity, fun and potential which students of all generations will remember from their own time at Leeds.”

Aidan Grills