New £1.7 million Institute of Technology project under way
Date: 20th April 2021
New facilities funded by the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology investment
Askham Bryan College has begun work on its new £1.7 million precision livestock facility. The project will include a dedicated teaching and learning space which is currently under construction and a precision calf rearing facility and beef grower unit, upon which construction will begin next month. The buildings allow the delivery of courses on sustainable and high welfare farming practices. The college was awarded a grant for the project through the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology consortium. The consortium was granted approximately £10 million of capital funding in total to invest in industry-standard equipment to provide higher-level technical training in Yorkshire and the Humber. The new facilities will be used for degree-level study and training through University Centre Askham Bryan, the college’s higher education arm.
High animal welfare and sustainable beef production are at the heart of the facility whilst highlighting a combined, fully digitised approach to rearing beef animals. This will allow students access to real-time data and enhanced, flexible, hands-on research opportunities. Data captured will then be viewed and used within the separate teaching space allowing continuous and applied learning. The build will be complete late summer 2021, ready for students starting term in September.
Dr Tim Whitaker, Principal and CEO of Askham Bryan College says, “The addition of the new precision livestock facility will be invaluable to the provision we offer and the taught skills we will deliver. It will also be a step towards making our farming process more technologically advanced, efficient and sustainable. We are very grateful to have received the investment which means we will have an innovative resource that’s in line with industry standards and practice. Our students using the new training facilities will be well-prepared with the expected skills and knowledge for a career in this rapidly evolving area of agriculture. We will continue to seek additional opportunities for further developments that will positively contribute to the delivery of our land-based study and that respond to employer needs.”
Amy Gadd, Head of Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology said, “This is a very exciting development for the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology and students at the University Centre. The demand for higher-level technical skills is increasing across all sectors and agriculture is no exception This new facility provides a direct response to employer needs and helps put Askham Bryan College and the Institute of Technology at the heart of technological developments in farming.”
The project paves the way for teaching current industry practice and participating in innovative research using industry-standard methods and equipment. The addition of the facilities to the college will make it a leading provider in education for sustainable beef production in the region. The building designs are by Evans McDowall and the build by HACS.
Mark Smith, Managing Director of HACS says, “As a former student of Askham Bryan College, a working farmer and the founder and MD of The HACS Group, this project is very close to my heart and ticks all the boxes. Not only will it help train young entrants into agriculture, which is vital to the industry’s future, but is also an energy-efficient building using sustainable materials such as timber glulam beams (instead of steel). The farm buildings are of modern multi-use construction, vital to the changing needs of modern agriculture, with galvanised steel frames for longevity and including environmentally friendly systems such as a greywater harvesting system. We are delighted to be appointed as Principal Contractor for this key project and are looking forward to delivering the project for the College’s 2021/22 term”.