• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

BREAKING: Teviot Row House to shut for over a year from October

ByJoe Sullivan

May 1, 2023
A gothic hall, about three stories in height, stands over Bristo Square against a blue sky.

Teviot Row House is set close for over a year from October for renovation works.

Colm Harmon, Vice-Principal Students and Lucy Evans, Deputy Secretary Students told students in an email today that the building will close from October 2023 until spring 2025.

The entirety of the building will be shut, with events expected to be moved to Pleasance, Potterrow, and other venues near Teviot.

Harmon and Evans addressed the disruption, telling students that they “realise that Teviot has a special place in many students’ hearts.”

Continuing, they said that they realise that “some of you will be disappointed that you’ll not have access to the building until works are completed.”

According to the email, the renovation works will improve accessibility and the number of toilets in the building.

It will also lead to the creation of a new ‘community lounge’, student workspaces, a wellbeing studio and a gallery.

The works will commence in October, pending planning permission being obtained and the appointment of building contractors.

Student services currently based at Potterrow will not be displaced from their current locations by the renovation works.

The university is set to update students when a complete list of alternative venues has been arranged.

In a quote published to the University of Edinburgh website, Edinburgh University Students’ Association president Niamh Roberts said:

“We are pleased to see these important works to maintain and preserve Teviot and the opportunity to enhance services for students within the building.

“Obviously there is an impact whilst the work goes ahead and we will work hard to minimise this through our alternative provision.”

In another line on the same page, Lucy Evans said:

“This upgrade will ensure that Teviot continues to provide modern and accessible facilities that meet the expectations of our students, staff and visitors.”

The content in today’s email is also available on the University of Edinburgh website here.

Image: “teviot row house” by Jon Vrushi is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Full body text of email:

To: All students

Dear [student name],

We want your University experience to be the best that it can be. That’s why we continually invest in our buildings to provide you with world-class facilities.

I’m pleased to let you know that we are working closely with the Students’ Association to plan for and deliver a significant upgrade to Teviot Row House, the world’s oldest purpose-built Students’ Union. These works will ensure that this much-loved building is refurbished and enhanced to meet your expectations and those of our staff and visitors.  

The upgrade will make the building more environmentally efficient and sustainable, and significantly improve accessibility and toilet provision, while also making it easier to find your way around.

We’ll be enhancing and modernising facilities throughout the building such as the café and bar areas, as well as repurposing some spaces to create a new student community lounge, student group workspaces, a wellbeing studio and a gallery.

The project is still subject to final planning approvals and the appointment of contractors, following which the work is expected to commence in October 2023 and complete in spring 2025.

This means that Teviot will unfortunately be closed for the duration of these works. We realise that Teviot has a special place in many students’ hearts, and that some of you will be disappointed that you’ll not have access to the building until works are completed.

However, we are working with the Students’ Association to provide you with alternative social, event and informal study spaces as well as a range of food and beverage outlets, including in the evenings and during weekends. We expect that the majority of what currently takes place in Teviot will move into Potterrow, the Pleasance and some additional spaces in the central campus area. We’ll keep you updated once a full list of these alternative spaces has been confirmed.

Students’ Association services – The Advice Place, Student Voice Hub, Student Opportunities team and the main Welcome desk – will all stay in Potterrow in their current locations.

We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating this exciting news, and look forward to welcoming some of you back to the upgraded Teviot in 2025.

In the meantime, you can find out more on our website:

Teviot Row House building works | Student News

Best wishes,

Colm and Lucy

Colm Harmon, Vice-Principal Students

Lucy Evans, Deputy Secretary Students

By Joe Sullivan

Hey there, I'm Joe! I'm The Student's Editor-in-Chief. I love reporting on local happenings here in Edinburgh, and am always looking for tips on what the paper should be looking in to or covering. If you'd like to tip me - or if you'd like to chat otherwise - I can be found at... Email - josephsullivanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com Text, Phone, WhatsApp, Signal - 07876 154619 Twitter - @_josephsullivan Instagram - @joe92743 Secure email is available on request.