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news &views Special Edition The Hive Opening 11 July 2012

Royal Seal of Approval Her Majesty The Queen Opens The Hive


A ROYAL OPENING As part of The Queen’s regional tour for the Diamond Jubilee, Her Majesty performed the official opening of The Hive on 11 July. Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, unveiled a commemorative plaque at The Hive, as well as meeting various members of staff, students and public. The royal couple were joined by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, the University of Worcester’s Chancellor. Professor David Green said:

“We were thrilled that Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh were able to open The Hive. The Hive is a truly worthy, iconic building in which to house the country’s first university and public library. It is a signal distinction that Her Majesty opened the building, especially in the year of her Diamond Jubilee.” The Royal opening involved a number of community activities with university and college students, along with schoolchildren all providing performances for Her Majesty. University of Worcester art students also had their work on display, alongside the building’s two professional pieces of commissioned artwork.


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THE HIVE SHINES The £60m new library and history centre is a joint venture between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council and opened on July 2. In the first week alone, almost 20,000 people visited the landmark building, whose goldclad roof is already an iconic sight in the city. The project, which has been almost a decade in planning and development, is the first such collaboration between an academic institution and a public sector body in Europe, and comes at a time of increasing library closures around the country. Professor David Green, said:

“At a time when many libraries across the country are under threat of closure, this new facility is a beacon for the future. An imaginative partnership has produced the country’s first university and public library in a beautiful building providing outstanding facilities for learning, education and culture. Its highly inclusive, efficient and sustainable nature will, we hope, inspire many into similar action.” The Hive – which has been described as “ground-breaking” in both its concept and design - brings together books, documents and archived items from both organisations under one roof. It also houses one of the largest children’s libraries in the country, council customer services, meeting rooms, study areas and a café. Students are given priority over some high demand books, but otherwise the two library stocks are completely combined to provide users with a quarter of a million books. The Hive contains 12 miles of archived collections, 26,000 records of historic monuments and buildings, and covers 10,000 square metres of space over five floors. The building has already won international awards for its design and sustainability features, which include drawing water from the nearby river Severn to heat and cool the building.


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ROYAL INTRODUCTIONS Prior to entering The Hive, the Queen was formally introduced to: His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester (Chancellor, University of Worcester) Mrs. Penelope Lewis (High Sheriff of Worcestershire) Councillor Rob Adams (Chairman, Worcestershire County Council) Mrs. Trish Haines (Chief Executive, Worcestershire County Council) Councillor Roger Berry (Mayor of Worcester) The Right Reverend Dr. John Inge (Bishop of Worcester) Mr. Robin Walker (Member of Parliament for Worcester) Professor David Green (Vice Chancellor, University of Worcester) Councillor Adrian Hardman (Leader, Worcestershire County Council) Ms Anne Hannaford (Director of Information and Learning Services, University of Worcester)


Inside the building she then met: Mr. Peter Parkes (Project Director) Mr. Julian Pallett (Chair of Governors, University of Worcester) Mr. Iain Paul (Architect and Project Design Manager) She then proceeded to the Summer Reading Challenge where she met Mr. Rowan Standish-Haines (Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate), with children from Coppice Primary School and Woodrush Academy, Wythall. At the Story Pit she then met Mrs. Kathy Kirk (Head of Library Services at Worcestershire County Council) and viewed the Books Alive performance by St Clement’s Primary School and Worcester Sixth Form College. She then met Ms Elizabeth Swift (Drama Subject Leader, University of Worcester), Ms Clare Woods (Artist), Mr. Robert Orchardson (Artist) and Mr. James Fisher (Artist). There were children from Castlemorton Primary and Upton

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upon Severn Primary schools constructing a giant jigsaw to bring to life a terrace of old Almshouses which once stood on the site of The Hive. At the Worcestershire Hub, The Queen met Ms Rachel Hill (Hub manager) and some service users. On the third floor the Duke of Edinburgh met: Adult learners and pupils from a local school, Construction Manager, Galliford Try Construction Ltd (Contractor), Mr. Simon Courtney. The Duke then moved to view the Flood Alert: Be Prepared exhibition and met some of University of Worcester art graduates, introduced by Maureen Gamble, Head of Art at the University of Worcester. The Duke then met a group of adult language learners before meeting Lisa Snook, archivist, who told him about some of the Treasures of Worcestershire contained in The Hive. The Duke then returned to level 1 where The Queen was invited to unveil a commemorative plaque.


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BROUGHT TO LIFE A song written by a University of Worcester student was performed during the official opening of The Hive.

The song, titled ‘Let’s Bring it To Life’, was performed by second year Drama and Performance student, Becky Rose Lowe, along with children from Bishop Perowne CE Performing Arts College, St Clements CE Primary School and students from Worcester Sixth Form College. It formed part of a musical ensemble taking place inside The Hive shortly after The Queen opened the building, with performances from a number of Drama and Performance students at the University.

Twenty-year-old Becky, from Worcester, said:

“I wanted to write a song about The Hive from a different angle; as opposed to focusing on the building. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that the building can only become something special when the people enter it and explore its contents - the people “bring it to life” by reading the books, finding answers and opening up new worlds of fiction and facts.” To hear Becky’s song visit the link play_now/song_13697839?utm_ campaign=opengraph&utm_content=song&utm_ medium=link&utm_source=facebook

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The Hive Opening  

A special issue of News and Views featuring the opening of The Hive