Hartpury partners with Monmouthshire Council to help local farmers thrive in a digital world


Hartpury University has received £220K from Monmouthshire County Council through the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund in support of its ‘Technology and Local Knowledge’ (TaLK) project.

The scheme will see Hartpury further expand the reach of its pioneering Agri-Tech Centre for smart technology and data-driven research, delivering a package of free digital support services for Monmouthshire based farming businesses.

Designed to support farming professionals within the county to unlock, understand and utilise the digital landscape of their businesses, the innovative TaLK project will provide one-to-one digital health checks, expert tech advice, training, business support, networking and knowledge sharing opportunities.

Ben Thompson, Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre Manager said: “We look forward to taking the Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre ‘on the road’ to help even more farmers make the most of their technology and data.”

Ben continues: “Digital innovation has the potential to revolutionise the way we produce and distribute food, making agriculture more efficient, sustainable, and resilient in the face of climate change and other challenges. From mobile phones to agricultural robots, digital agriculture covers a wide range of technologies - most of which have multiple applications along the agricultural value chain.” 

Designed to address the ‘real-world’ digital challenges and barriers faced by the agri-food industry, TaLK will utilise funding to deliver an unprecedented package of fully funded support that will cover areas such as connectivity, data management, cyber-security, technology application and digital skills. 

Professor Andy Collop, Vice-Chancellor, Principal and CEO at Hartpury said: “This project represents a landmark occasion for Hartpury to formally establish cross-border agricultural links and industry connections between Hartpury and Wales. This Levelling Up funding will enable Hartpury to extend its resources and expertise to support both the economic and environmental sustainability of Monmouthshire farming businesses - connecting technology with agriculture of today.”

Chief Executive at Monmouthshire County Council, Paul Matthews said: “The development and growth of digital innovation across the Monmouthshire region is absolutely crucial to help our agri-food businesses streamline supply chain management, enhance food traceability, and improve food safety and quality.”

As the institution celebrates its 75th anniversary, Hartpury continues to make Gloucestershire the go-to place for agriculture and now, applied agricultural technology. The Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre has also played a role in attracting more students into Gloucestershire, combined with a highly acclaimed portfolio of agriculture diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Facilities such as the Agri-Tech Centre, recently awarded LEAF Innovation Centre status, and newly launched Tech Box Park, providing workspaces for agri-business innovation, help to increase graduate skills and employability too. 100% of agriculture graduates progressed into employment, further study or other purposeful activity, according to Graduate Outcomes 2022.