Guild Changes

Following a series of significant decisions and discussions with the University, and using your student feedback about wanting the Guild to change, we have reached a point of major development for our organisation, which we believe will have positive effects on the impact we can make on your student experience for years to come. 

The commercial transfer took place on Sunday 1 November 2020. Read our full statement here.   

You can find our statement here from 25 August and a blog post written by Sunday, Guild President, here

If you have any questions about any of the information here, please contact us at


Who are the Trustee Board?

The Guild is a charity and is required to have Trustee Board who are responsible for the legal and financial security on the Guild. The Trustee Board is made up of four Full-Time Officers, up to four elected student trustees and up to four external trustees and is accountable to the Students’ Guild’s members (that’s you, our students) as well to the Charity Commission. You can find out who the members of the Board are here

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How did this decision happen? 

In February 2020, we started a piece of work to review the organisational operations of the Guild. In light of our existing financial challenges and the impact of the pandemic on our income streams the Guild Trustee Board took a decision to explore the sale and transfer of commercial operations to the University in order to ensure financial stability.  

After extensive and careful discussion, in July 2020 the Board decided to proceed with the transfer in order to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Guild. Since then senior staff and Full-Time Officers have worked with the University to ensure that this transfer delivers for students.  


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What does an increase of block grant from the University mean? 

The Guild, like the majority of students' unions, currently works off a model where our main income source is from a block grant which we received from the University. All Students’ Unions are funded by their University as it’s a legal requirement to have a SU under the Education Act 1994, however the amount that SU’s are funded varies depending on their agreements with their institution, have commercial trading outlets to help boost our income as the block grant doesn’t cover the true cost of being Exeter Students’ Guild and everything we deliver. We have relied on commercial income to plug that gap, but ongoing trading difficulties over the last few years coupled with the impact of coronavirus has highlighted that we cannot be a financially stable our current financial model. You can find out more about our finances by looking at previous financial reports.  

By securing an additional £400k on our block grant from with the University, we can be financially secure as we won’t be reliant on our commercial trading outlets having a great year, and this increase is at least double what we’d be able to make in profits.  

This block grant increase means we are able to properly fund our services without making cuts to membership engagement and will support us in our ongoing Guild Review Project allowing us to make improvements and changes to enhance your student experience further.

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What is the large Guild debt? 

The large debt is a combination of the SUSS pension scheme and the big VAT bill for The Ram.   

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Will the outlets still be value for money after the change? 

We understand how important value for money is to students, and we have agreed with the University that a central board which will have Students’ Guild and student involvement to ensure that all outlets on campus are value for money and ensure students are at the heart of decision-making.  

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What outlets are being transferred?

All Guild outlets are transferring to the University on Sunday 1 November: The Ram, Comida, Pieminister, Italiano and the Guild Shop in DH1 in Devonshire House and Grove Diner and Lemon Grove in Cornwall House.  

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What outlets are reopening under University management?  

The University will then be reopening The Ram, Comida, Shop (renamed to Marketplace) and Print Room (renamed to Print Services) on Tuesday 3 November as their outlets.  

Please visit for more information on the University outlets or any further updates. 

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What’s happening to the outlets that aren’t reopening under University management? 

Due to Covid-19 and other factors, the University has decided that the other outlets being transferred across will remain closed. There will be a full review of all commercial spaces in 2021 to ensure the appropriate use of space across the University to maximise student experience, which will have the Guild's input to ensure your student voice is represented. To stay up to date with the latest news on the outlets, including when the others can reopen, make sure you keep an eye out on the University’s channels and visit this webpage: University of Exeter, Eat and Shop

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What’s happened to the casual student staff roles in the outlets?  

When we started the conversations with the University, we had hoped that casual student staff would be included in the transfer, however given that casual workers aren’t usually subject to TUPE this hasn’t happened. However, all Guild casual staff have been invited to apply for the University’s casual staff bank and have been represented in transfer meetings with the University by workplace reps they elected.  After lengthy discussions with the University, it was proposed that as casual workers none of the students will transfer as part of the TUPE process.  


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How can I buy a hoodie or other Exeter merchandise online?   

The University will run their own platform to sell merchandise and clothing, so our Guild run platform will close on Tuesday 27 October at 16:00 to allow us to post any items before the transfer is complete.  

Please visit for more information on the University outlets or any further updates.  

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How can I access the Print Room to get my dissertation or other materials printed?    

The Print Room will become part of the University’s Print Services when they reopen on Tuesday 3 November, you will be able to use the service here:  

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Will societies and student groups still be able to use the outlets for activities?     

Due to Covid-19, activity on campus is already severely limited, the spaces aren’t available to be booked for events or activities. However, in the future an agreement will be in place to ensure that student groups can still access the same facilities and spaces to support their activities.  


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University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ