First new agriculture college in 50 years opens in Lincoln

The next generation of skilled workers in the agriculture industry this week moved into a new £13 million state-of-the-art college development based at the Lincolnshire Showground.

The Riseholme College Showground Campus is the beginning of a major expansion from Bishop Burton College’s campus at Riseholme, as their lease expires in 2020.

Around 350 further education students will now be using both the Riseholme and the Showground campus’ with a shuttle bus taking them between the two.

Next week, around 35 new degree students will be moving in at the Showground.

Building of the new facility began in October. It includes an Innovation Centre featuring state-of-the-art teaching resources and precision technology, an Animal Management Unit and engineering workshops.

Phase one of the new showground site was completed in time for the start of school year. This included establishment of the new campus.

It was made possible after winning a bid for £6 million of grant funding from the Skills Funding Agency Capital In vestment Fund.

Together with phase two, the £23 million scheme will house labs, workshops, animal units, a farm and halls of residence for students, taking up around 3,500 sure metres of land.

Work has already started on phase two of the new campus. It was confirmed in July the £11.5 million second phase of the project would go ahead after £7.5 million was secured from the Government’s Single Local Growth Fund by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The College will cover the remaining finances.

Phase two will open in September 2016 and will incorporate a number of new buildings to further enhance the college’s curriculum across the existing site and the new campus.

Students embarked on their first term at the new campus this week, which compliments the facilities at Riseholme College Campus three miles away.

Keeley Burman, 16, who is studying Level Three Horse Care, said: “It was a ‘wow factor’ when I came in. I’m excited to learn here – for many years! I’m hoping to do my degree here in the future as well.

“I’m really excited to be here and I am one of the lucky ones to be among the first to learn here. When you first come here you realise this college means business. They take things seriously here and they care about the students.”

Level Three Animal Management student Taylor Dennett, 17, added: “As young people, we’ve grown up with technology, so it is great to see that this campus has harnessed the very latest in technology. It is the way young people learn today, so it is nice to see our tutors embrace modern technology.”

Jeanette Dawson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Riseholme College, said: “It is really exciting and this is a historic day for Lincolnshire. Our students are talented and enthusiastic young people and they deserve the best.

“Phase two of the project is already underway but we shouldn’t stop there. This is just the beginning.”

People can still apply to study at Riseholme College. For more information, they can call 01522 895490.