Transforming Spaces Into Social Destinations

Northumbria Social Spaces

Transforming Spaces Into Social Destinations Everyone Wants To Visit

When we partnered with Northumbria University, the brief was to transform a tired, grey space into a welcoming and vibrant hub for all at the university to benefit from. A social space was needed for the whole campus community to be able to come together to relax, come together, work and eat.

From Lifeless To Enticing

A traditional canteen-style restaurant meant it was hard to be forward thinking as the space just wouldn’t allow it. The “Lipman Café” at Northumbria was an uninviting and dated space. Purely a functional place to eat and refuel. Fast forward to now, and we have worked with the client to redesign the area to enhance the student and staff experience.

Collaboratively working with the Director of Campus Experience, David Jackson, we developed our shared vision of social spaces. Moving to a more multipurpose style restaurant that would meet the needs of all on campus was a key focus. It needed to bolder and brighter, a place to bring people together and encourage collaboration.

Technology-led food offers were a given and they have disrupted the market at Northumbria University. A ghost kitchen (CPU) on the campus allows the onsite team to offer the students and staff a flexible and tailored food solution. Ordering through the Uni Food Hub app they can have food and drink delivered when and where they like. Choice, flexibility and convenience are key, without compromising on the offer and of course taste!

The Finer Details

In just three months, the look and feel of the space were transformed. It’s welcoming and sleek with a range of different social spaces; poser seats for solo working or hanging out, meeting spaces with charging points for convenience and soft seating for those wanting to relax.

The food on offer includes:

• Izzis Pizza – a delicious range of hot pizzas and sides cooked fresh on site
• Bamboo – Asian noodles, katsu burgers, dim sum and more
• Hola Pollo – Peruvian chicken, fries, salads and burgers

The overall result is an inspiring space: a hub where students enjoy coming together, working, eating, and socialising. By bringing the campus community together to have the opportunity to collaborate and integrating technology, the whole student and staff experience has immensely improved.

But What Has This Meant?

“We have seen the behaviours of our students change – they no longer want the traditional canteen, but instead demand a digitally enabled, modern and vibrant space in which to study, relax and collaborate. To address this and in line with our objective of maximising the space we have on campus to benefit both student and staff experience, we have worked closely with Chartwells Universities to develop a series of fantastic spaces where our students and staff can ‘WORK, MEET, DRINK, EAT’.

At the same time, we have worked together to modernise the catering offer – introducing click and collect and digital ordering technology to serve relevant food offers in appropriate formats – again moving away from the traditional, under-utilised canteen.” David Jackson, Director of Campus Experience at Northumbria University

Talk to our business development team

Whether you’d like to discuss how our school and education catering experiences could inspire your pupils or students, or you’re interested in partnering with our brilliant teams across the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help! For all other enquiries, please visit our other enquiries page. 

Email: enquiries@chartwells.co.uk 

Phone: 0800 917 6818

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