Bowland Bar, also known as ‘The Trough’, has re-opened to positive reviews after undergoing refurbishment over the summer.
The work, which began in April, saw the oldest bar on campus undergo extensive modernisation, including lengthening the bar and increasing the seating. It was the first time the bar had been updated since it opened in 1967 and some students feared it would damage the ‘pub atmosphere’.
“Bowland bar never had enough space to sit so that needed changing, but I was worried it was going to end up looking like Grizedale bar which is really modern and uncomfortable,” said Rachel Davies, a student from Bowland, “thankfully the developers have resisted the urge to do this and the place is still like a pub. They’ve also got more space for the pool tables and the bigger bar is a good thing.”
Junior Common Room (JCR) President, Anastasia Rattigan, agrees that the new bar remains faithful to the Bowland character.
“I’m really happy with the final result. I’ve always loved Bowland bar as it’s always been comfortable and homely, and I think that this new bar retains that feel while being a bit more modern and spacious,” she explained. “I think it’s already made a big difference, as the bar is busy. The fact we now have decent pool tables and more televisions means it’s more useable for people.”
Bowland Principal Joe Thornberry said that he is “particularly pleased with the bar design, which combines the traditional ‘warm and welcoming’ pub feel with a modern 21st century look,” something he thinks “shows the value of directly involving students in the design discussion from an early stage and responding directly to their feedback.”
Talk of refurbishment began in May 2009 and work was expected to go ahead in the summer holidays. It was postponed until the following year, but once again delays caused the plans to be put back until 2011.
“This bar has been three years in the making so I’m relieved it has finally been completed and in time for the new year,” said Rattigan.
The revamp is part of an extensive program of modernisation around Bowland. Bowland Lecture Theatre has also been altered and work is on going to improve other college facilities including the accommodation.