Construction has started on the country’s first new-build agricultural college in half a century.
Riseholme College in Lincolnshire is being rebuilt after being taken over by Bishop Burton College.
With only short-term leases available on its existing site north of Lincoln, a deal was struck with the county’s agricultural society to relocate to a new £13 million college campus within the Lincolnshire Showground.
The first bricks of the new campus were laid this week by Jeanette Dawson, principal and chief executive of Bishop Burton College in Beverley, and Dave Blades, business development director at Hull-based construction firm Hobson & Porter which has been appointed to deliver the building work.
Mrs Dawson said: “I would like to thank the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and the whole county for the enthusiastic support they have given.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the building coming together over the next two years.
“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.”
More than £6m towards the project has been secured from the Skills Funding Agency Capital Investment Fund. The new campus will have science labs, agriculture, engineering and arboriculture workshops, an animal management facility, a farm and halls of residence for students.
A significant portion of the college’s intake is expected to be attracted from South Yorkshire when it opens in September 2015.