We are delighted to announce the opening of our new Co-op shop onWhiteknights campus on Thursday 14 September, following a refurbishment of our previous store, Campus Central.

As well as offering NUS Extra card holders a 10% discount on all goods, students and staff will see a wider range of fresh produce, an in-store bakery, healthy foods, meal ideas, hot food and essentials.

You can also choose to sign up to Co-op’s Membership rewards scheme, at a cost of £1, to receive a further 5% reward into your membership account when purchasing own-branded products and services. An extra 1% of this will be going to local good causes – Berkshire Vision, Reading Mencap and Reading Community Learning Centre.

The new shop will be open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm Monday to Sunday.

The team behind the new store have been out and about this week offering food samples around campus in the run-up to the store’s opening on Thursday. There’ll be more opportunities to sample products over the next few days – hampers will be delivered to Wessex Hall (Friday 15 September), Mackinder Hall (Saturday 16 September) and Chedworth House (Sunday 17 September), with free samples also available in nearby gazebos.

And on Friday 22 September, don’t miss the inflatable assault course at the Palmer quad between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm – there’ll also be hot food samples on offer, so make sure you take a look!

On the announcement of the project earlier this year, Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, said:

“This is an exciting development for students and staff alike here at Whiteknights campus. Co-op is one of the UK’s biggest food retailers and can offer its customers a wide range of fresh, good quality produce.

“Strong ethical values and the discount schemes offered to NUS extra card holders and Co-op members make Co-op the right fit for our campus. It is important that the University partners with organisations that uphold the same values we do, and equally important that we consider the potential impact to the cost of living for our students.”

The previous store, Campus Central, was run by Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU), with all profits from the shop going towards services and opportunities offered by RUSU. Following the changeover, the University remains committed to ensuring that RUSU is not financially disadvantaged by the change of circumstances by providing an increased grant until 2021.

Permanent members of Campus Central staff have now become Co-op employees and the terms of their contracts remain the same, with somestudent employment opportunities likely to be available.