Tag Archives: money


How much would you charge for an official portrait? As part of Mark E. Smith’s leaving celebrations the University commissioned, as is standard practice, an official portrait of our former leader. The painting by Nathalie Beauvillain Scott can be viewed on the staff intranet, alongside a link to a ‘goodbye’ interview by Lancaster’s Honorary Archivist Marion McClintock, at:
Scott has regularly been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the BP Portrait Awards:
One of subtext’s readers was intrigued, and submitted an FOI request – ‘Please can you disclose how much the portrait of Prof Mark Smith, published on the 19th of September, cost the University?’ The University’s response: ‘The total cost of the portrait including the framing was £12,910.’
Is this excessive? According to the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ website, fees for a portrait can be ‘substantial’, rising to £100,000, but equally ‘their starting point can be less than £2,000.’

In these times of austerity and Professional Services recruitment freezes, subtext readers may wonder whether next time, given the world-class talents of our Fine Art students, we might considering enlisting their services instead. Or maybe one of our readers would be interested? If you’d like to have a go at painting an enduring image of MES, we’ll happily publish it on our Facebook page for free.


Thinking of applying to Lancaster to study or work? Well, make sure your credit history is immaculate, you don’t have any problems obtaining a UK bank account and you don’t have any problems accessing your funds, because campus outlets are going cashless.

Since last week, four bars (Fylde, Grizedale, Lonsdale and Pendle) have been refusing to accept cash, and subtext is told that the plan is to roll this out across all bars, shops and cafés from the start of the next academic year.

The university is enthusiastic: ‘by going cashless, customers will be able to pay for transactions quicker and more conveniently via their card or phone.’


subtext is not entirely sure how it’ll be quicker or more convenient to pay for a £1:30 cup of coffee by card, rather than by just handing over £1:30, but we’ll let that objection slide. And, hey, surely no-one uses cash these days? What next, do you want us to accept payment by postal order?

Well, yes, people still use cash, and not everyone has a choice in whether or not to use it. Many people at Lancaster have poor credit histories. Some people may not want family members or partners to potentially track where they’ve been spending their money. Others prefer to use cash as a way of imposing self-discipline on their spending. A large number of international students will not get a UK bank account until several weeks after their arrival, and will depend on cash until their account is set up.

We’re not sure how they’re going to get served in Welcome Week. We’re not entirely sure whether the university cares. We look forward to reading the relevant Equality Impact Assessment.