Spades have gone in the ground to mark the start of building work to create a £2 million agri-tech centre at Hartpury College and Hartpury University’s Gloucestershire 360-hectare campus.
The Digital Innovation Farm Tech Box Park will aim to provide not just space, but business support to help the county’s emerging and exciting cluster of agri-tech businesses grow.
Designed and manufactured by ISO Spaces, the new centre will feature five 16-foot by 40-foot cedar-clad shipping containers, and is a project made possible by funding from GFirst LEP, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust.
Russell Marchant, vice-chancellor of the university and principal of the college, said: ‘This new ground-breaking facility will combine our agricultural campus, commercial farm and strong industry connections with agri-technology companies to address the inevitable challenges of a digitally driven future.’
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.’
Hartpury has appointed Gloucester-based Vitruvius Management Services to manage the project through construction to handover and drawings for the project will be prepared by Gloucestershire architects Roberts Limbrick.
The Tech Box Park is due to open later in 2021.