College's £5-a-day car park nets £15k for students

Herald Series: Christian Lucy at the college's Oxpens campus Christian Lucy at the college's Oxpens campus

A STUDENT parking scheme undercutting a nearby city council run car park has netted £15,000 in the first few months.

Since the end of last year, students from Oxford and Cherwell Valley College have been inviting shoppers and visitors to the city centre to park in the college’s Oxpens car park for just £5 a day.

At the nearby Westgate Car park, just one hour costs £3.

The money from the project is all ploughed back in to helping student enterprise schemes off the ground.

The college has created a Community Interest Company, SweetFE which manages the parking project and other similar ventures.

Business manager Christan Lucy, coordinates all the enterprise activities at the college, including parking.

He said: “Every Saturday and Sunday members of the public can come and park at the Oxford campus, which is opposite the Oxford Ice Rink, all day by making a donation towards the Student fund of only £5.

“Not only is the contribution to the student fund a much-needed financial resource, but the actual project provides far more than just income to the students studying at the college.”

The parking project is run by the college’s public services students who are training in stewarding and security.

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Mr Lucy said the project provided them with real-life exposure to customers and situations that gave them ‘experience as well as a qualification’.

He said this gave them the edge over other students looking for future employment.

The students who work on the parking project are also paid employees of the college with contracts of employment and taking part in normal staff induction processes.

Eighteen-year-old students Javaad Alam, from Cowley, and Sam Walker, from Kidlington, are among those who work at the weekend.

Mr Alam said: “It’s working really well. People still complain about the price, but its a lot cheaper than anywhere else.”

Mr Lucy added: “This project gives our students the possibility of a headstart in their career by providing experience to go onto their CVs, additional training that is outside of the normal curriculum and as an added bonus, they are paid employees so earning while they are learning.

“Opening up the college car park at Oxford is just the first of a number of enterprise projects which will be run through SweetFE at the college.”

Graham Jones, spokesman for Oxford traders’ group Rox, said: “This a fantastic scheme.

“We welcome anything that brings shoppers and trade into Oxford.”

The scheme has proved so successful that the college has decided to run it indefinitely.

Comments (8)

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7:36pm Fri 11 May 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Perhaps they should install a car wash too :)
Perhaps they should install a car wash too :) Dilligaf2010

7:47pm Fri 11 May 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

3000 cars parked since 'opening' that's not bad. Potential lost revenue to the westgate will be up to £75,000.

Why no angst ridden whining and hand-wringing from the greens?
3000 cars parked since 'opening' that's not bad. Potential lost revenue to the westgate will be up to £75,000. Why no angst ridden whining and hand-wringing from the greens? Andrew:Oxford

11:17pm Fri 11 May 12

John Lamb says...

Excellent idea. Well done.
Excellent idea. Well done. John Lamb

11:59pm Fri 11 May 12

gymrat34 says...

John Lamb wrote:
Excellent idea. Well done.
I second this.
[quote][p][bold]John Lamb[/bold] wrote: Excellent idea. Well done.[/p][/quote]I second this. gymrat34

7:57am Sat 12 May 12

Pundit says...

What a great change to see a bit of enterprise. Well done to the college and the young people concerned.
What a great change to see a bit of enterprise. Well done to the college and the young people concerned. Pundit

8:21am Sat 12 May 12

snapperdownunder says...

Well done to those enterprising students. Keep it up. But what I would give for 3pounds-an-hour parking. Where I have to park here in NZ it's double that. Thieves!!
Well done to those enterprising students. Keep it up. But what I would give for 3pounds-an-hour parking. Where I have to park here in NZ it's double that. Thieves!! snapperdownunder

11:27am Sat 12 May 12

John Lamb says...

snapperdownunder wrote:
Well done to those enterprising students. Keep it up. But what I would give for 3pounds-an-hour parking. Where I have to park here in NZ it's double that. Thieves!!
Maybe you could use this article to influence your local college snapper.
[quote][p][bold]snapperdownunder[/bold] wrote: Well done to those enterprising students. Keep it up. But what I would give for 3pounds-an-hour parking. Where I have to park here in NZ it's double that. Thieves!![/p][/quote]Maybe you could use this article to influence your local college snapper. John Lamb

10:13pm Sun 13 May 12

ox-cabby says...

Brilliant!

Two fingers up to westgate and others who charge a ridiculous rate eg., £1 for a 30min parking in some areas around oxford.
Brilliant! Two fingers up to westgate and others who charge a ridiculous rate eg., £1 for a 30min parking in some areas around oxford. ox-cabby

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