New college centre now FFIT for future
A leading Preston college started the new academic year on a high note, with the official opening of a multi- million pound extension.
Myerscough College in Bilsborrow has officially unveiled its Food and Farming Innovation and Technology Centre.
On the site of Lodge Farm, the £7.5m project is being hailed as the major flagship build for agriculture and associated courses at Myerscough.
The main two-storey building will house the research and teaching facilities linking with the various technologies in the nearby Livestock Innovation Centre and farm.
A host of dignitaries were invited to the official opening, including chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Edwin Booth, and The Lord Curry of Kirkharle CBE.
Myerscough principal and chief executive Ann Turner said: “The FFIT Centre showcases the latest technologies and innovations, sourced from around the world, for precision UK agriculture.
“They have been purpose built to provide the ideal environment to demonstrate cutting-edge developments in the food and farming industries, while providing an ideal setting to train and educate the next generation for a highly skilled agriculture industry.”
Craig Thompson, head of agriculture and countryside said: “It is a bold and ambitious project which offers numerous significant benefits to the food and farming sector within the North West.
“Not only will the college be training farmers for the future, it will also give existing farmers and rural businesses the opportunity to see how innovation and technology can be used on their farms.
“It will also reaffirm Myerscough College’s place among some of the leading land-based colleges within the UK.’’
The centre also boasts facilities to support food research and development with the aim of creating a resource that both local businesses and students can use to investigate opportunities to process and add value to on-farm produce.
It also has specialist teaching, demonstration and research facilities including a teaching laboratory, soil laboratory, instrumentation room, production development kitchen, as well as a conference room, general teaching rooms, offices, a dining area and changing facilities.