New livestock centre to be built as part of IoT strategy

09 May 2019

A partnership of universities and colleges in northern England has received the green light from the Department of Education to develop the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology (IoT), which will also lead to the creation of a £1.7 million livestock centre.

Askham Bryan College in York is one of nine education providers benefiting from £10m of capital funding from the DoE and the new beef centre will showcase precision livestock farming and inform the industry practices of tomorrow. It is anticipated that ground works will begin within the next few months.

“This is tremendous news not just for Askham Bryan, but for the future of agriculture in Yorkshire and beyond,” said Catherine Dixon, chief executive. “Farming is a highly technical and exciting industry and our young people will have a wonderful livestock centre with cutting edge technology to ensure that they are at the forefront of industry innovation.”

Dixon said the funding would “greatly assist” the college to further develop highly skilled, technically adept students and complements its most recent work creating the digital farm for our dairy cattle and its agri-business centre.

“As an educational training centre, the importance of animal health and welfare is at the heart of our teaching as we showcase best practice to the next generation of Britain’s farmers and industry leaders,” she added.

The college has 5,000 students with around 2,000 using the York campus’ Westfield Farm as part of their studies in agriculture, animal management and agricultural engineering. It is also an important centre for training apprentices.

In addition to the purpose-built livestock centre created as a beef finishing and calf rearing facility, the investment will be used to refurbish the college’s existing beef unit, plus an additional classroom and car park. Industry trials are also expected to be held.