Student spending good for business

By Sam Coleman

Leicester’s businesses increasingly rely on the students from De Montfort University in order to stay open and keep the city thriving.

Rileys is no different with the business making the most of the students during term time.

Manager of O’Neill’s pub and previous manager of The Slug and Lettuce, Ian Whiley said: “The students have a massive effect on the whole city, it’s not so bad over Christmas and Easter but it’s like an exodus when they break up for summer.

image1“We’re not a student bar but like a lot of places there’s a steady flow of students, and when they’re gone you find everyone is fighting over the same amount of business so it can be a struggle for a lot of places.”

Rileys’ manager Allie Linton didn’t think the lack of students over the summer was quite as severe.

“There is a dip in custom but it’s not as bad as you’d think, people who usually avoid the students start coming in more regularly and these people pay full prices at £8.95 and play for longer, as oppose to students who pay just over a fiver and only tend to play for an hour.”

Despite these claims, 75% of Rileys’ business comes from students throughout term time, with them also hosting and sponsoring seven sports societies from De Montfort University, such as women’s rugby every Wednesday.

Even when the students are in town, Ian believes ‘the culture of their drinking has changed’ with more of them ‘drinking lots at home and going out later rather than spending a lot of time in the pub.’

Although the city relies on students for local business, they also have their downsides especially when it comes to drinking.

Allie believes that Rileys gets egged a lot from the student flats across the road and that there is sometimes fighting in the streets outside of the accommodation.

Mr Whiley suggested that trouble doesn’t have anything to do with students.

He added: “Trouble happens from time to time especially when there’s drink involved, that doesn’t mean it’s always students.”

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