The Students’ Union and the Southern Co-operative will jointly run the new Bramber House supermarket, expected to open this summer. The shared deal, announced on Wednesday 16 March, comes just days after the union learnt that the University of Sussex had granted the Co-op exclusive management of the new retail space, without any mention of union collaboration despite their joint bid.
Steve Tremlett, Head of Retail Business Development at the Southern Co-operative, said: “We were already in discussion with the Students Union when the University advertised the invitation to tender for the lease of the new shop, competing against other major retailers in a formal procurement process.
“The legal requirements of the tender process meant that we could not openly discuss these arrangements, but we have now signed Heads of Terms with the University and have agreed the principles of the operation with the Students Union. There is a lot of detailed work to be done and we’ll make further announcements as soon as we can.”
The SU President, Cameron Tait, said he is “delighted” with the new deal. “The Southern Co-operative… is the perfect match for us in terms of values and ethics.”
He continued: “We are happy that the University [has] now accepted the Students’ Union’s involvement in the new supermarket in Bramber House. The confidentiality surrounding the tender process led to a number of false and damaging allegations being made against The Southern Co-operative, but I am satisfied that they have acted correctly throughout the process.
“The Southern Co-operative was the only retailer tendering for the shop at the campus who were committed to working with the students’ union and supporting students with jobs, so we are very glad that they won the tender and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”