Students’ plea for bookshop

STUDENTS at Sheffield Hallam University have launched a petition in protest against the closure of the campus’s only bookshop.

Eleven staff at Blackwell’s on Arundel Gate will be made redundant when the branch closes before Christmas.

Students claim the university charges the shop an annual rent of £106,000 a year – too high for it to make a profit. Its parent company says the shop has been trading at a loss for the past six years, since it opened.

The petition is to be presented to Blackwell’s headquarters in Oxford and a copy will be given to the university.

One of the organisers Nick Howard said: “A university without a bookshop offers lower standards of service to its students and teachers than those available at the better-provided universities.”

A Blackwell spokesman said: “Blackwell is currently in consultation with Sheffield Hallam bookshop and hopes to relocate staff where possible. Discussions are under way about an alternative provision to students at key times of the year.”

Clive Macdonald, Hallam director of student services, said: “Students are able to access a high-quality range of books and other resources from the Adsetts and Collegiate Learning Centres. Both stock a wide range of learning materials.”