Consultation on future of Easton and Otley College opens

A public consultation has been launched on plans to split up Easton and Otley agricultural college in East Anglia, and merge it with two other colleges.

Views are being sought on proposals to merge the Norfolk-based Easton campus with City College Norwich and the Suffolk-based Otley campus with Suffolk New College.

It is claimed the move will help secure the long-term future of both land-based campuses, against a backdrop of cuts in funding and an inadequate Ofsted rating.

See also: Easton and Otley agricultural college to be split up

It will also offer students a wider range of progression routes into Higher Education or apprenticeships.

Easton and Otley College currently has around 4,000 students, half of which are full time and half part-time.

Mark Pendlington, chair of Easton and Otley College corporation, said: “We are absolutely committed to a solution that provides outstanding teaching and training opportunities, as well as strong finances to enable more investment and growth, and a truly inspiring business plan which propels the land-based industry to lead the way in the new competitive post-Brexit world of the future.”

The consultation period is set to run until midnight on 1 October.

Digital innovation farm at Hartpury

Hartpury University and Hartpury College have announced a 10-year vision to create a Digital Innovation Farm, in response to the rise in technology in farming.

A £2m agri-tech centre, which will provide students and outside organisations with access to the latest commercial technology, is already due to open in autumn 2019.

The development will also include the National Centre for Agricultural Data Management and Interpretation, designed to assist the industry in its advancement of agricultural technology, data and security.

The college is also aiming to attract leading agri-tech companies to the campus over the next decade to create a state-of-the-art digital farming complex.



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