The University of Lincoln and Bishop Burton College reached a new agreement to future-proof practical land-based further and higher education at the Riseholme campus north of the city, off the A15.
The university and the college said they are committed to developing a centre of excellence at Riseholme. This includes subjects such as agriculture, engineering and equine studies.
A 99-year lease and associated licences have been signed. This means Riseholme College, a part of Bishop Burton College, will continue to get access to the campus owned by the University of Lincoln.
The University will make significant investments to enhance the educational facilities. It will also advance its own specialisms in scientific research and higher education courses supporting the food and farming industries at Riseholme.
Riseholme is home to the University’s Lincoln Institute for Agri-food technology.
As previously reported, the University of Lincoln withdrew its outline planning application to West Lindsey District Council for a major new housing development and education facilities at its Riseholme campus in 2017.
The university’s £20 million masterplan would have seen parts of the current Riseholme College campus demolished. It was initially proposed to be replaced by 750 new homes (later scaled back to 180), as well as other facilities.
At the time Bishop Burton, which is one of the UK’s leading land-based colleges, welcomed the news but said it had no assurances that its lease on the campus would be extended post 2020. Bishop Burton took over provision of land-based further education courses in Lincolnshire in 2012.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, Professor Mary Stuart, said: “Lincolnshire is at the heart of the UK’s thriving food and farming industries and we are absolutely committed to meeting the changing skills and research needs of businesses of all shapes and sizes, by working with industry and our educational partners.
“This landmark agreement ensures Lincolnshire can boast the complete range of post-16 educational opportunities, from short courses and apprenticeships through to Masters and PhD level study, for decades to come.
“All this is underpinned by the world-leading research of our agri-tech specialists and Riseholme’s outstanding natural features and facilities, reinforcing its status as a jewel in the crown for our region’s agri-food sector.”
Chief Executive and Principal of Riseholme College, Bill Meredith, added: “This is wonderful news, not just for the college, its staff and its students, but the whole of Lincolnshire. It means Riseholme College will continue to produce future generations of farmers and other skilled workers.
“These are exciting times and this agreement will also provide opportunities for collaborative working with the university, including in applied research, technology transfer, staff development and student progression.”