Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is relocating its poultry research unit from Ayrshire to Midlothian.

New state-of-the-art growing and production facilities will enable poultry research to be undertaken in commercially relevant facilities. Image: sakhorn38/Fotolia.

The facility will be built on the Easter Bush Estate, which is already home to most of the college’s animal and veterinary scientists, over the next two years.

Commercially relevant

The unit provides research for Government and private sectors; as well as providing a focus for SRUC’s avian-related nutrition, welfare and disease research. It will be staffed and managed by SRUC employees and provide state-of-the-art growing and production facilities, enabling poultry research across the production chain to be undertaken in commercially relevant facilities to the highest standards of welfare.

Geoff Simm, vice-principal research at SRUC, said: “Bringing SRUC’s poultry staff together with its animal scientists, while co-locating the poultry facilities alongside the complementary resources and expertise at the Roslin Institute and the wider Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, will create a world leading centre for poultry research.”

Growing market

The new facility will enhance SRUC’s ability to meet the needs of the industry and a growing market, and will be co-funded by the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock, one of the Government’s proposed agri-tech innovation centres.

This funding has been key to allowing the relocation to happen, although a move has been in discussion for a while due to the age and condition of the current facility.

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