NUS figures show a drop in ‘night time economy’ at Lincoln Students’ Union

Students are adapting to ‘new drinking cultures’

In a recent rep meeting at Lincoln Students’ Union, figures demonstrated a drop in alcohol purchases on SU owned establishments The Swan, Tower Bar and The Engine Shed.

It was announced that despite Lincoln SU being the sixth biggest purchaser of Licensed Trading according to NUS’ purchasing consortium, the figures had dropped.

Figures demonstrated that in 2016 to 2017, Licensed Trading purchase for alcohol that would be resold in SU run venues was at expenses of £465,000.

In 2017 to 2018 this had dropped marginally to £450,000, with similar patterns in a least two other Universities within the top seven purchasers of Licensing Trading.

President of the SU, Kudzai Muzangaza, said: “From this, it has been deduced that there is a changing culture of drinking, with students drinking less, therefore meaning we purchased less alcohol in 17-18.”

“With that in mind it is evident that the trend of drinking is perhaps going down and this is reflected in other Unions as well.”

This comes after new club night, Anthem, was made into a monthly event following similar comments of ‘night time economy’ dropping.

The SU stated: “In efforts to adapt to changing student cultures, Lincoln Students’ Union has recognised the need to review the offering it provides.”

“It’s been noticed on a national scale how the night-time economy has been reduced in recent years. In a recent independent survey, only 22 per cent of students put ‘going clubbing’ in their top three activities enjoyed with friends.” (NUS, SeedMarketing, AlterLine, NUS and Criteo, 2018)

“Following student feedback stating people go out once every few weeks, it was felt a monthly event would sit better in the current environment.”

The figures provided show that the drop is still only around a 3% fall in the SU’s nightlife economy. It does not cover other events and establishments that license alcohol in the city. However, others in the city are in agreement with the SU.

Sam Watmough, a employee of the promotion and events team at Bill and Keith’s nightclub commented: “I think the night time economy is changing slowly as I’ve noticed through the years. I think the upcoming generations have become engaged with electrical devices and building an online profile of themselves, that they lack a little in social situations.”

“As the older generations start to settle down with graduating university, wanting to find jobs, and building relationships, these are not concerns of 18-20 year olds. Of course there could be other reasons for their decline in going out such as what events are on offer, which events are exciting, finance situations etc.”

“I do feel some events let students down for not offering a range of music genres and entertainment. However for an event to be profitable and invest in amazing DJ’s, club hire fees, inflatable hire fees, and performing artist fees, the clubs need to be charging more to cover their costs which is also displeasing for students that are short of finance.”

It been confirmed that action is taking place and the SU are going to work closely with students to keep them informed about the future of their Union.

Kudzai commented on this: “We are looking to consult with the student body in regards to NUS and its impact to students on campus. NUS provide support and resources to officers in order to facilitate our roles as Student Leaders, however as we (as a Union) pay a £52k affiliation fee, it is paramount that we establish whether this is good value for money.

“We want to make sure that the student body is well informed and attuned to what we are doing in relation to our affiliation with NUS, particularly with NUS’ projected £3m deficit.”

Additionally, the SU have put plans ahead for the new year including new one off events that will appeal to different demographics of the student body, nominations for sabbatical officer roles opening, and the hope to celebrate LGBT+ and Women’s History months in early 2019 to put a further focus on Liberation and the Campaigns’ Network.

The Barge purchased earlier this year is in the process of being acquired and the SU are liaising with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the appropriate processes are undertaken.

Kudzai added: “The Barge will look to provide an experience for students and customers that is unique to the current provisions at Tower Bar, The Swan and The Engine Shed. It will look to align with changing cultures in student drinking behaviours and offer a different type of drinking experience.”