Construction work has begun at Askham Bryan College.
Construction work has begun on a new Agri-Centre which will help support the region's reputation as an agri-tech powerhouse.
The Centre will also support the government’s drive to turn agricultural innovation into commercial opportunities.
The initiative forms a major part of a £4.8m project which will see the creation of a new study centre for agriculture and engineering students at the heart of the College’s Westfield Farm on the York campus. It is anticipated that the building will be finished for September, ready for the start of the next academic year.
The initial building work has now begun on the Agri-Centre which, as well as lecture rooms and the engineering workshop, will house the offices of EBLEX and the AHDB (Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board) which are currently elsewhere on the campus.
The Centre adjoins Westfield Farm and so is ideally situated for practical work, particularly as the Dairy Unit which is literally on the doorstep. The College runs 250 pedigree Holstein cows milked through a 10:10 rapid exit parlour with a further 30 milked through a robotic system giving students experience of two different systems. Courses from Diploma Level through to Foundation Degrees in land-based subjects to young people from across the north of England are provided.
Executive Principal Liz Philip said: “Askham Bryan College is renowned for the high standard of learning and practical skills it provides students, as evidenced by the growing number of young people who choose to study with us. This Centre provides a focus for both theory and practical learning, both of which are vital to equip the industry leaders and workers of tomorrow with the skills they need. We pride ourselves on nurturing work-ready students and this initiative provides the ideal environment for that to happen.
“The Centre is a significant investment by the College plus we have been supported by the York and North Yorkshire LEP. It is a real vote of confidence in the future of the agricultural industry.”