New Life for Old College
The Old College Aberystwyth is an iconic part of the University and the Town. Its status as the first University College in Wales opened in 1872, and its prominent position on the seaside town’s Promenade draws visitors from far and wide. It features on innumerable postcards and tourism posters, and in countless photographs through the ages. Until 2014 it housed University Departments, but after that, most had been moved to the Penglais Campus, where there were more purpose built buildings for teaching and accommodation and more opportunities for current students to study and socialise together.
The University was unwilling to let this Grade 1 building be abandoned, and set about commissioning ideas for how it could continue to be a learning and cultural centre for the students and the town’s residents and visitors. Old Student Jim O’Rourke was appointed as Project Manager, and the OSA was asked to provide a representative for the Project Board. Old Student Steve Lawrence took on the task and was able to contribute to discussion and put forward ideas for development which represented the love in which the building is held by so many members of the OSA.
Steve Lawrence, the OSA Representative on the Project Board says this: -
"Hen Goleg is one of Wales’s most important historic buildings which, since 1872, has been a focal point for generations of Aberystwyth students. Its restoration and re-visioning will ensure its future as an international centre for culture, learning and enterprise. The OSA, through its representation on the project board and as a significant donor to the Old College Appeal, has undoubtedly contributed greatly to the success of this exciting and vital initiative."
In January 2020, after at least three years of hard work and planning, the announcement was made that plans for a major redevelopment of Old College had been significantly well funded by the National Lottery Heritage Lottery. This was tremendously exciting for all involved, but also the start of another period of intense hard work. It is also the start of another intense period of fundraising, starting with the students for whom the building holds so many happy memories.
The University has acknowledged the importance of the Building to the OSA, and we have had an office and meeting room in the Old College. The latest plans include a meeting space for us just above the King Street entrance, with a small office with a sea view adjacent to it. (See picture)
Find out more information about the project, and details of donation options which will acknowledge your contribution in the fabric of the building for years to come.