The first new-build agricultural college to be constructed in 50 years is beginning to take form in Lincoln.
The first brick of the new Riseholme College campus was laid on October 19 by Jeanette Dawson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Burton College, and Dave Blades, Business Development Director at Hull-based construction firm Hobson & Porter.
The £23 million college was recently taken over by Bishop Burton College. With only short-term leases available on its existing site north of Lincoln, a deal was made with the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society to build a brand new college campus within the Lincolnshire Showground.
Bishop Burton’s Skills Funding Agency Capital Investment Fund bid will provide more than £6m of grant funding towards the total building investment, which is expected to top £13million.
Phase one of the 10-acre college site is set to open in September 2015, hosting a precision agricultural centre and an animal science unit.
Phase two, which will see a further £10 million invested, will focus on nutrition and food technology.
The primary impact of the new campus project will be to sustain and grow land-based education in Lincolnshire, recognising the importance of associated industries to the local economy.
The new facility will welcome its first intake of students in September 2015, and will be fully operational by 2016.
The new campus is also expected to engage more than 450 local businesses in skills training within two years.
The project will also increase the number of learners, to more than 800 students on campus by 2016.
Jeanette Dawson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Burton College, said: “I would like to thank the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and the whole county for the enthusiastic support they have given.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the building coming together over the next two years. We have a fantastic relationship with Hobson & Porter and we are looking forward to working with Dave and his team throughout the building process.
“We believe this is the first land-based college to be built in 50 or so years, which pays testament to our commitment and determination to support the industry in Lincolnshire and beyond.
“As well as state-of-the-art facilities, the new campus will allow for closer links with Lincolnshire’s thriving agricultural community, agri-business and agri-food industries.”