1 July 2021

You may be wondering what’s been happening in Bridge Street since you were last able to visit about fifteen months ago. Firstly, and most importantly, Carol, Gemma, Jane and Joe have been continuing to come in daily to run all our courses and the administration. Secondly, the office space is currently being substantially made-over, both our present floor and the one above.

Looking forward, you may also be wondering what’s going to happen in the coming term. Firstly, we’ll be delighted to welcome you back into the building and to offer face-to-face classes again in our smart class rooms. Secondly, we will be offering a more varied form of programme delivery from this year onwards, namely face-to-face, online via Zoom and “hybrid” (some attendees in class and some remote).

The key features of our refurbished premises are:

  • 30% more space overall
  • six class rooms, compared with five previously
  • all class rooms will have external windows and air-conditioning
  • expanded social space on second floor, out of the way of members moving between classes
  • new projection facilities in all class rooms, plus hearing loops
  • administrative meeting room
  • refreshed decoration throughout
  • clear signage on all floors of the building
  • wherever possible we’ve recycled or repurposed materials.

So far, work is proceeding to plan; with completion scheduled for the end of July. Immediately thereafter, we plan to offer an occasion on which members can visit the new premises and a pared down Open Day for potential new members. However, the scheduling of these events are dependent on the completion of the refurbishment (watch the Bulletin and website for details).

Understandably, you will want to know about our Covid precautions. We will be adhering to the government’s current guidance, whatever it may be by the autumn. We will not be applying any additional local requirements on staff, tutors or members who come to the premises. However, at present some of our external venues plan to offer only reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, so there will be fewer places available on those courses. Although this may change by the autumn, I would ask for your continued understanding of the uncertain times. There will be updates in our weekly Bulletins nearer the start of term.