Work begins on new £12 million development at Hartpury

Hot on the heels of the opening of its Graze restaurant, Hartpury College and Hartpury University has officially broken ground on a new £12.5 million project.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
The new vice chancellor of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Professor Andy Collop (centre, with spade), and partners gather to mark the start of work on the new University Learning Hub.

Just weeks after it opened the doors to its new £5 million restaurant and conference facilities, Hartpury College and Hartpury University has officially started work on its latest project, a £12.5 million University Learning Hub.

When complete, the north Gloucestershire campus will boast a new two-storey 3,048 square metre building for its growing undergraduate and postgraduate student population.

Work officially started as Hartpury also learned that together with Cirencester, Gloucestershire and SGS colleges it will share £2.6 million of government Skills Accelerator money for green skills training to help with sustainability and decarbonisation.

With both announcements come just weeks after it celebrated the opening its new two-story Graze restaurant, café, shop, teaching and conference centre.

Professor Andy Collop, the new vice-chancellor, principal and CEO of Hartpury, called the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the new Learning Hub development a ‘momentous occasion’.

‘The building will bring our most important higher education student services together in one place, serving their study and social needs as well as providing access to support and guidance,’ said Professor Collop.

Funding for the development comes from Hartpury’s share of a £20 million pot it won in a joint bid with the Forest of Dean District Council and Cinderford Town Council.

The funds will also help redevelop the former Five Acres college site near Coleford into a leisure destination, with a centre for sporting excellence and satellite site for Hartpury University and Hartpury College, and on projects to regenerate Cinderford Town Centre.

Professor Collop added: ‘I must thank our friends and partners at the Forest of Dean District Council and indeed our local MP Mark Harper, who along with Cinderford Town Council and support from GFirst LEP helped to secure support for our region from the Levelling Up Fund.’

Hartpury staff and governors gathered to mark the start of the project with Mark Harper, MP for the Forest of Dean, Mark Price from project manager Vitruvius and leaders from the Forest of Dean District Council.

Hartpury said it would use the £2.6 million of Skills Accelerator money to ‘bolster its contribution to education and innovation in the agri-tech sector’, following the launch of its Digital Innovation Farm.

This would include the creation of a new agri-tech digital studio a dedicated space for students and industry where future technologies in agriculture can be explored using simulation.

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