Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Pleasance complex Officially Opened

Monday evening marked the official re-opening of the Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Pleasance complex, following a £6 million refurbishment project undertaken by the University of Edinburgh. Sarah Smith, University Secretary, and Patrick Kilduff, Students’ Association President, welcomed students, staff and guests to a reception in the new Pleasance Café & Bar before inviting them to tour the complex.

Patrick Kilduff, Edinburgh University Students’ Association President, said: “We are thrilled with our new home for activities. One of the greatest parts of our lives as students are the friends we make and communities we build from a shared love of activities and societies. This brilliant modernisation of the Pleasance is an exciting enrichment of our support for having fun and falling in love with new things as well as honing ongoing interests; it’s fantastic news for students.”

The Pleasance site has received a comprehensive upgrade, with vital improvements made to infrastructure, toilets and disabled access to the buildings, which are housed around a cobbled courtyard and range from c.100 – 220 years old. The old Quaker meeting house within the complex (now Pleasance Quaker Studio), was previously used only during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but is now available for year round use as a rehearsal and performance space. The Pleasance Theatre building now boasts three large rehearsal/ performance and event spaces, and a refurbished Café & Bar and Cabaret performance space. Pleasance West now contains craft and music rooms, a student media hub with a publications room and radio and AV studios, multi-purpose meeting office spaces, and a student lounge. Pleasance Salisbury has fresh meeting and rehearsal spaces, equipped with mirrors and sprung floors.

Sarah Smith, University Secretary, said: “The Pleasance has always been a major hub of activity for our students, so I’m delighted so see the completion of this major refurbishment. This is part of the University’s commitment to enhancing the Edinburgh experience, with wider investments not only in our physical estate but in areas such as health and well-being, increased library and study spaces, and teaching.”

The Pleasance complex sits beside the University’s impressive Pleasance Sport Complex & Gym, part of a set of sport & fitness facilities which are ranked among the very best in the UK. A key element of the redevelopment was to add an additional new entrance to the complex opening into the courtyard of Pleasance Sports Complex & Gym.

Jim Aitken MBE, Director of Sport & Exercise, added: “The welcome redevelopment of the Pleasance complex adds to the strength of this area of our University campus as a hub for student activities, arts and sports, providing even more reasons for our students and the wider community to come together.”

Image courtesy of Andrew Perry