Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 12:57 UK

Students' anger over axed clubs

One student bar will remain on the ground floor of the building

Students at the University of Portsmouth have protested against plans to axe their on-campus nightclubs and replace them with one study zone.

More than 2,000 names have been added to a campaign on social networking site Facebook against the closure of the Lux and Co2 clubs, which share a building.

About 20 staff could be laid off and just one student bar will remain.

The university said the nightclubs were used only once a week and Portsmouth was "well-provided" with entertainment.

The university said there could be 20 staff redundancies and talks were under way with Unison about possible redeployment.

'Not consulted'

Earlier this year the university met with elected students' union officers as part of a consultation period, and the plans were initially met with praise.

But protesters are angry a questionnaire on a proposed study zone failed to mention it would replace the nightclubs.

The plans include a café, quiet and social zones and movable furniture which would still allow for events to take place.

A bar on the ground floor of the building, The Waterhole, will remain open.

Second-year student Richard Smith, 21, said the campaign had been started because students felt they had not been properly consulted.

"It appears that the questionnaire they undertook just asked people if they would like more social learning space rather than asking them if they were prepared to lose the nightclubs to gain this space," he said.

'Peaceful protest'

"Therefore we felt that the tactics were underhand and that the results should be rendered useless."

Students also posted angry messages on a students' union website, although some backed the plans, and a separate online petition was also started.

During the final club night last week students took to the stage as part of a "peaceful protest" to voice their concern.

A spokeswoman for the university, which will manage the new facility, said: "It was established that the nightclub area within the building was under utilised - the nightclub is now only open for one evening a week - and Portsmouth is well-provided with evening entertainment venues.

"The nightclub area is a space of more than 500 square metres and was designed for a capacity of 2,000 students, seven days a week."

If building work is approved the facility will open in September.

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