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“Sitting at a table with three friends – each of us skint – with a pint of beer between us, and each taking an occasional sip! An evening never forgotten!”

John Studd (Law 1972)

“No two ways about it. Leeds University Union shaped me and I owe it a great deal. One of my highlights was appearing on-stage in Half a Sixpence. I loved performing then, and now I make a living from entertainment. It all started at Leeds!”

Elizabeth Brown (Classical Civilization 1994)

“The reason I chose Leeds was mostly due to the student union and general student community. The union offers so many opportunities and activities.”

Ciara Cook (Arabic & Russian 2016)

Leeds University Union has been the beating heart of campus life for successive generations of students. From performing with societies, getting involved in politics, watching bands or socialising with classmates, lifelong friendships and hobbies have all started in the Union building.

Leeds University Union remains as much a focus for today’s 31,000 students as it was in the heady days of the sit-ins and the rag parades, the student hops, the Who and the Clash.

An ambitious upgrade project will revitalise the Union, including significant refits of its two performance spaces, new cafes, meeting rooms and activity spaces.

Alterations will not only create a more vibrant, light, welcoming place but will enhance the Leeds experience for all students, whether they rehearse and perform in the professional standard theatres, get involved in one of the growing number of Union societies using the meeting rooms – or simply socialise in the lively new cafes and bars.

The improvement of the performance spaces will allow for more ambitious, more professional-standard productions; the better access routes will make the union still more wheelchair-friendly. With your support we will:

  • Refurbish the much-loved Riley Smith Hall, with new flooring, seating and acoustics, better access, lighting and ventilation;
  • Completely refit the Raven Theatre with flexible new spaces for drama and debate;
  • Create a new “arts quarter” for study and performance;
  • Create new meeting rooms, cafes and a common room;
  • Transform the entrance foyer, including a new glass roof to allow natural light to flood into this busy space, used by thousands of people every day;
  • Redevelop the south entrance with an eye-catching airy and open-plan design and easier access to the commons rooms, refectory and shops;
  • Increase accessibility for students with disabilities with new lifts and wheelchair access;
  • Raise the standards of décor throughout the building.
  • Upgrade heating and ventilation with new solar panels and rainwater harvesting.

Between them, these improvements will transform the entire union building and will impact on every single student, for whom it is a key part of their daily lives.

To look at our scrapbook of images of student life from when you were at Leeds, visit Leeds Alumni Online.

Transforming the heart of student life


Leeds Student Leeds Student

Development plans

Aidan Aidan

Aidan Grills

Union upgrade plans

This film made by Leeds University Union demonstrates the full extent of the refurbishment plans

Union's strategic plan

Featuring staff and students, this video sets out the union’s strategic plan for 2014-18

How you can help

Your gifts will help us to create a union building which is entirely fit for the future. And because the University is a charity, UK taxpayers can make their donation go further. Gift Aid enables the University to reclaim the basic rate of tax on the value of the donation, while higher rate (40%) and additional rate (45%) taxpayers can reclaim the difference between their rate of tax and the basic rate.

The names of all donors who make gifts of £100 or more will be displayed in the upgraded building and other naming opportunities will be available.

You give£400£2,000£80,000
The University claims Gift Aid (1)£100£500£20,000
Full value of gift£500£2,500£100,000

If you are a Higher Rate (40%) taxpayer:

You claim tax relief (2)£100£500£20,000
Net cost to you£300£1,500£60,000

If you are an Additional Rate (45%) taxpayer:

You claim tax relief (3)£125£625£25,000
Net cost to you£275£1,375£55,000
  1. Added at the basic rate of tax.
  1. Higher rate relief is the difference between basic rate and higher rate tax.
  1. Additional rate relief is the difference between basic rate and additional rate tax.

Further information on tax-effective giving and eligibility click here

You may choose to make your gift in instalments.

Browse the project brochure

Leeds Student Union Flipbook

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