The Royal Agricultural University is creating a new Land Laboratory Teaching Centre in Gloucestershire after winning a maximum award of £5.8 million of funding from The Office for Students (OfS).
The university said the centre would provide a specialist facility to train students in climate-smart, resilient agriculture and land management and keep it at the forefront of research and development.
Plans are to redevelop its existing Frank Garner lecture block and build a new extension to house a ‘wet laboratory’ for handling various types of chemicals.
Professor Peter McCaffery, RAU vice-chancellor, said: ‘This award is a tremendous fillip for us. It also demonstrates the OfS’s confidence in the RAU’s direction of travel.
‘These new labs will help to ensure that the Royal Agricultural University plays a crucial role in tackling global challenges like climate change, biodiversity and food security and that the university is able to engage a growing and diverse range of students and practitioners in that mission.’
The project will also enable the RAU to build on its success in employability, enterprise, and local partnerships supporting economic growth through Farm 491 - which it bills as the leading agri-tech incubation and innovation space in the UK.
The RAU plans to complete the refurbishment of the Frank Garner lecture block between August 2023 and March 2024, with the new extension being completed by the summer of 2024, subject to planning permissions.