A £13m project to build the country’s first new-build agricultural college in half a century is underway at Lincolnshire Showground.
A turf-cutting ceremony marked the start the work, which will see Riseholme College relocate to the showground.
The college was recently taken over by Bishop Burton College, in East Yorkshire, and with only short-term leases available on Riseholme’s existing site north of Lincoln, a deal was made with county’s agricultural society to build a brand new college campus within the showground.
Jeanette Dawson, principal and chief executive of Bishop Burton College, said: “I would like to thank the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and the whole county for the enthusiastic support they have given.
“What better place for a land-based college to be sighted than at an agricultural showground that is thriving?
“We believe this is the first land-based college to be built in 50 or so years, which pays testament to our commitment and determination to support the industry in Lincolnshire and beyond.
“A new campus will provide state-of-the-art facilities and allow for closer links with Lincolnshire’s thriving agricultural community, while engendering even closer relationships with agri-business and agri-food industries.”
It was at the end of last year that Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Matthew Hancock MP, announced that funding had been secured to build the new campus, with £6m provided by the Skills Funding Agency Capital Investment Fund.
Among the features of the new campus will be classrooms, science labs, an animal management facility and agriculture, engineering and arboriculture workshops.