Harper Adams University College today welcomed Sir John Beddington to its Shropshire campus to officially open new education and research centres. Prof Beddington unveiled the two new buildings at Ancellor Yard.

Harper Adams University College today welcomed chief scientific advisor Sir John Beddington to its Shropshire campus to officially open new education and research centres.

The Frank Parkinson Farm Education CentreProf Beddington unveiled plaques for two new buildings at Ancellor Yard, a redevelopment of a site on the university college farm.

The first building, the Frank Parkinson Farm Education Centre, is a newly-constructed centre which provides a hub for student and short course activities which aims to enable a wide range of people to access the Harper Adams farm as part of their learning experience.

Next door, the Frontier Crops Centre has successfully regenerated some of the oldest buildings on the campus to provide much-needed resources for the crops department to continue its “cutting-edge” research and education activities.  

The centre houses newly appointed senior staff with expertise in entomology. It also provides space for postgraduate PhD students and postdoctoral research staff close to the farm. There is also a flexible meeting room space fitted with digital technology that can be used for teaching, research seminars, meetings or short courses.

Addressing guests, Prof Beddington talked of how impressed he was that Harper Adams was addressing the problems the farming sector will face as the world’s population reaches eight billion people by 2025.

Professor John BeddingtonHarper Adams has a great future, because it is genuinely addressing these problems,” said Prof Beddington (left). “It has been very moving experience to come here and see the energy of the staff, the excitement of the students and to see that [they] are addressing practical problems and engaging with [their] stakeholder community, not just in the UK farming sector, but beyond.

“This is a truly splendid environment, and I think the principal and staff should be really proud of what [they] are doing. It is a great honour to have a Beddington Room, and I think the design of the building is fabulous, so congratulations. It is a great honour to be able to declare these buildings open.”

Meanwhile, Harper Adams principal David Llewellyn said: “The facilities opened today are two parts of the same objective. We were trying to create a centre for farm education which better matches the location of the heart of our farm activities, with our new dairy unit.”

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