A state-of-the-art agricultural centre is half way through development at Lancashire’s Myerscough College.
Work on Myerscough College’s new Food, Farming, Innovation and Technology (FFIT) Centre has reached the half way stage of what will become a sector leading centre of excellence for industry training.
The new £5 million centre on the college’s Lodge Farm, Preston, is for agriculture and associated courses at Myerscough and should be ready for the start of the next academic year in September, 2017.
A Livestock innovation Centre has now been erected, completing phase one of the project.
This includes a wide range of technology from Growsafe feeders, electronic identification (EID), automatic ventilation curtain and a fixed infra-red video camera, among other innovative technology systems.
Craig Thompson, head of agriculture and countryside at the college said the new centre will ’develop and enhance the college’s existing farming enterprises’.
He said: "The brief was to establish a centre of excellence at Myerscough College which showcases the use of innovation and technology in farming and the production of food, focusing especially on grazing livestock and grassland management.
"This focus was to develop and enhance the College’s existing farming enterprises 300 hectares of grass and forage crops used to stock 220 dairy cows, 60 suckler cows, 1500 ewes."
The next stage of the project is for the construction of the FFIT centre which will comprise of a red brick building for research and teaching facilities which will link to various technologies in the livestock centre.
Mr Thompson added: "The FFIT project is a bold and ambitious project which will offer 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."