£6m campus investment to improve student facilities
WORK is well underway to further improve student facilities at Harper Adams University with an investment of £6m in campus developments.
Three new buildings are being constructed as part of the plan – an additional teaching block, an agricultural engineering building which will also accommodate and support the National Centre for Precision Farming, and a Veterinary Services Centre.
Dr David Llewellyn, Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are pleased to see progress being made with three major projects which will support our teaching and research activities for the next academic year.
“These developments also firmly underline our commitment to providing the very best facilities for our students.”
The £2.93m engineering building will supplement existing resources and provide a physical base around which university/industry collaboration can be stimulated.
The building will have unique features, such as a novel full-scale "all terrain" vehicle simulator room, that will support product development and training, but will also provide a means to verify health and safety measures in the design and development of new agricultural machinery and precision farming applications.
HEFCE contributed £1.5m from its Catalyst Fund towards the project, the first grant of its kind made under this new programme. The grant has been combined with funding made available by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and donations from the Douglas Bomford Trust, Eric Lea’s Charitable Trust, alumni and individual private donors.
Professor Simon Blackmore, Head of Agricultural Engineering, said: “We are extremely excited to see the new building take shape and our plans for the use of this new accommodation are well in hand.
“The students joining us in 2013 will have access to state of the art facilities that will greatly improve the range of our work in engineering teaching and practice.”
With support from a significant donation made by the Garfield Weston Foundation, students will soon be taught in a new teaching building.
The facility will boast a 260-seat lecture theatre – the largest on campus, technology based lecture facilities and a range of seminar rooms.
Commenting on the award of funding, Dr David Llewellyn said, “We are delighted to have received a generous donation from the Garfield Weston Foundation towards this project.
“Their support will help make a significant difference to our teaching resources and to our ability to inspire students for their careers in the agri-food and related sectors”.
Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: "The Foundation is delighted to support this new teaching and learning facility at Harper Adams.
“The Trustees were particularly impressed by the work that the university undertakes in promoting agriculture and related land-based industry as an enjoyable and interesting career.
"This project specifically aims to inspire the next generation of graduates and the new building will offer facilities that support both current and future innovative teaching methods.
"Harper Adams makes an important contribution to the UK's economy and we are pleased to be able to support its work."
Finally, a planning application has been submitted for a new £600,000 Veterinary Services Centre as a result of demand for Veterinary Nursing, Clinical Animal Behaviour and Veterinary Physiotherapy courses.
The facility will consist of a reception area and office, eight consulting rooms and a hydrotherapy suite.
The hydrotherapy suite will add to the University’s veterinary resources by providing both a pool and a canine underwater treadmill. The pool will be fitted with underwater cameras and the treadmill will have glass sides allowing viewing from all angles.
Head of Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences Department, Carwyn Ellis, said: “This major capital investment will mean that students studying our courses will have the very best facilities.
“It will also enable the university to develop further research within these areas.”
Work on this exciting new development is due to commence next month.
Janine M Heath
Harper Adams University
Harper Adams University is the UK's leading specialist provider of higher education for the rural and land-based industries. Our mission is to deliver higher education and research for the delivery of a sustainable food chain and rural economy. To see how Harper Adams can help you, visit www.harper-adams.ac.uk