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University of Worcester Scoops National Newspaper Award

The University of Worcester has won a Guardian University Award for Contribution to the Local Community.

This prestigious national award was conferred on the University in recognition of its outstanding innovation in creating the country’s first university and public library, The Hive. The Hive, which was opened by HM The Queen in July 2012, has attracted over 600,000 visitors since opening and has led to a doubling of book borrowing by members of the public.

The University was named as the winner in the category during a ceremony in London last night (WEDS), beating off stiff competition from universities throughout Britain.

Vice Chancellor Professor David Green said: “This award is the latest in a line of national and international awards for a truly inspirational building dedicated to learning.

“When we first set about developing Britain’s first university and public library we had a vision to create a building that would bring the community together and inspire many more people into discovering the joys of learning, study and creativity. By creating a new library, alongside an outstanding archive and community services in an imaginative partnership with the Worcestershire County Council we have put the University at the heart of the community.

“The public benefit is immense and the students and staff of the University now enjoy a much bigger, better and more inclusive library with built in opportunities to volunteer and positively engage – particularly with children.”

The £60m development is the first joint university and public library in the UK and is a joint project between the University and Worcestershire County Council, bringing the library services of the two together under one roof, along with the Council’s archive and archaeology service and customer contact centre.

Anne Hannaford, Director of Information and Learning Services at the University, said: “Our vision for The Hive has always been to create an inspiring space, which people enjoy visiting for many reasons: to study and learn; to find new and exciting books and historic objects; to find out information; and to get support and advice. Some people just enjoy sitting and reading, looking out across the wonderful views.”

She added: “We have worked alongside our partners at Worcestershire County Council to make this close connection between the University and the community. The Hive has so much to offer in terms of sharing resources and expertise for the benefit of everyone.”

Adrian Hardman, Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: “We are delighted the University has received this prestigious award. The partnership and joint working towards a common goal between the University of Worcester and ourselves has allowed The Hive to flourish to become a superb building which the community and students can enjoy, learn and study together within. It is wonderful to see the University recognised in this way.”