Matthew Bagley has been appointed as the new head of agriculture at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria.

Agriculture, countryside management, gamekeeping, forestry, horticulture and engineering will come under Mr Bagley’s auspices at the college.

A hill farmer and sheep specialist by background, Mr Bagley joins the team from Reaseheath College where he has worked for the past eight years.

“Working with young people to provide first class education across the land-based sector is not only a privilege, but vital to the success of Britain’s agricultural industry and efficient food production,” he said.

Mr Bagley’s appointment comes after Askham Bryan College took over the running of Newton Rigg from the University of Cumbria in 2011.

He joins the staff, following recent announcements of a £3m investment in the campus and the college farms, beginning with the re-introduction of a dairy herd and a new dairy unit – work on which is expected to begin within the next few months.

Plans for the college’s Low Beckside Farm, Mungrisdale, include development of new sheep housing and training facilities.

Other new initiatives include the National Centre for Uplands which was announced in December, and the national initiative, Fresh Start, will run its first Uplands Academy at Newton Rigg, beginning in February.

Mr Bagley was also one of the judges for Farmers Weekly‘s recent groundbreaking Farmers Apprentice initiative.