Hartpury is delighted to have received a generous donation of £150,000 from the Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity towards funding for its £2 million Agri-Tech Education Centre.
Hartpury is establishing an Agri-Tech Centre on its 360-hectare campus to utilise and demonstrate the latest smart farming techniques and illustrate the importance and impact of science and technology in agriculture.
The centre will be an education, training and research hub for Hartpury University and Hartpury College students, the wider education sector, regional producers and processors.
The Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity (CSRC), which focuses on supporting education, healthcare, heritage and arts, was established in 1986 by philanthropists Clive and Sylvia Richards.
It makes annual charitable donations of £1 million to £2 million, with all funds donated exclusively by Mr and Mrs Richards, whose current business interests include a commercial fruit farm on their 2,000-acre estate in Herefordshire.
Clive and Sylvia Richards said: “We and the other trustees of the charity are pleased to support the Agri-Tech Centre at Hartpury, specifically the Diagnostic Suite for data gathering, diagnostics, analysis, knowledge exchange and research.
“We’re looking forward to developing a successful long-term partnership with Hartpury, which will include welcoming agriculture students to our fruit farm and our senior staff discussing aspects of course content they can support.”
The Agri-Tech Centre project has secured £1 million in government funding, through GFirst LEP, which must be matched in order for it to be accessed by Hartpury.
Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, added: “We’re delighted to receive this incredibly generous contribution from the Clive and Sylvia Richards Trust.
“We’re determined to make the most of their outstanding support and create a world-leading facility of which our agricultural industry can be proud.
“The Agri-Tech Centre will increase knowledge of applied science and technology for our agricultural diploma and degree students and provide an opportunity for the practical application of science for A-level students.
“It will illustrate the role of science and technology in farming for visiting local school children, helping them understand how this links to productivity, improved welfare and higher quality food.
“The centre will also enhance the status of livestock agriculture and boost the regional rural economy. We anticipate welcoming our first students in September 2019 and officially opening the centre in October 2019.”
Picture: left to right, Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, with Sylvia and Clive Richards