Agriculture Innovation Centre opened by Deborah Meaden

The Agriculture Innovation Centre, a £3 million building at Bridgwater College’s Cannington Centre was recently, officially opened by Dragon’s Den businesswoman and entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden.

This exciting £3 million investment, offers a state-of-the-art facility including laboratories, classroom and conferencing facilities, a farm data analysis suite and a Biosecurity Centre. It will help to prepare future agricultural professionals with the skills they need to progress in such a fast changing and increasingly technological sector.

Deborah Meaden speaks at the official opening of the Agriculture Innovation Centre.

Over 80 guests, including local employers from agricultural companies and local dignitaries, attended the celebration receiving speeches from Bridgwater College’s Principal, Mike Robbins, Head of Agriculture Innovation, Ian Tremain and special guest, Deborah Meaden. On completion of the official opening and speeches, guests were given the opportunity to explore the Centre and Farm, on tours run by the College’s staff and students.

Mike Robbins, Principal at the College said,

“We are delighted Deborah Meaden formally opened the Agriculture Innovation Centre for us, not only for her inspirational success as a businesswoman, but also her support of many projects and worthwhile causes linked to the work we undertake at the Cannington Centre. The investment we have made into this facility is the latest in a long line of developments at our Cannington Centre since its merger with Bridgwater College more than 10 years ago. We hope that this addition will continue to support the fantastic success rates of our agriculture students which are amongst the very best in the country.”

Ian Tremain, Deborah Meaden and Principal Mike Robbins.

Deborah Meaden added,

“I am fascinated by the approach this Centre is taking, such investments are very important, not just for today but also for the future generations who want to work within the agricultural and farming industries. I want to congratulate everyone involved in making this vision a real one. Having seen the facilities and heard about the intelligent way it is being developed, I would also like to congratulate the team who are taking this forward.”

Livestock students Rebekah Davis, Kirsty Sheldon and Stephen Sizer, were among a group who given the opportunity to meet the TV personality. On reflection of the day, Rebekah Davis, from Kingston Seymour said,

“I feel very privileged to have met Deborah, I could really relate to her. It made me realise what I could achieve in the future as long as I have the drive and passion to work for it. It was also great to show her how much we have benefitted from this facility.”

Kirsty Sheldon, from Cheddar added,

“The Agriculture Innovation Centre has really helped to bring the staff and students together. We have everything we need here, from fantastic teaching and practical resources, to great catering facilities, it feels more like a small community than a College.”

Stephen Sizer, from Minehead, was able to meet a number of local employers during the event he said,

“It was good to see that so many organisations were interested in our studies, meeting them will help me in the future when I apply and interview for positions within the industry. It will be an interesting talking point and remind them of who I am and the knowledge I have.”

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