Plans to build the second phase of its multi-million pound Digital Innovation Farm Tech Box Park have been revealed by Hartpury University and Hartpury College.
It is the latest in an ongoing programme of investment at the 360-hectare site north of Gloucester to expand its range of agriculture facilities focusing on new technology in farming.
Due to launch in late 2021, GFirst LEP-funded Tech Box Park will create workspaces for agri-tech businesses to collaborate, work with the university and grow and develop – and it already has its first tenant.
Russell Marchant, vice-chancellor of the university and college principal, said: ‘We are delighted that the next phase of our 10-year strategic vision to provide world-class agricultural facilities, education, and research at Hartpury is being realised.
‘This new ground-breaking facility will combine our commercial farm and strong industry connections with agri-technology companies to address the inevitable challenges of a robotic future.’
Funding has been provided by the local enterprise partnership (GFirst LEP), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to the future of farming, agricultural research and education.
David Owen, chief executive of GFirst LEP, said: ‘The project has received funding of £1.25m from the Getting Building Fund to create new innovation and demonstration workspace for high growth SMEs in Gloucestershire.’
The 10 feet x 40 feet-high Tech Box will be repurposed shipping containers clad in cedar wood and built by Cornwall-based ISO Spaces.
The first unit has been reserved by Novazera, a UK company that creates biodegradable plastic alternative products and ground-breaking anti-viral and bacterial coatings.
By Andrew Merrell
This article is part of SoGlos’s #BackToBusinessGlos campaign – made possible by Hazlewoods, Aston Lark and BPE – to champion Gloucestershire businesses as the county recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information, see soglos.com/backtobusinessglos