The recently established Bishop Burton Centre for Agricultural Innovation received a boost today as its official home, a newly built suite of offices, classrooms and research units on the Bishop Burton College campus in East Yorkshire, was opened by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) president William Worsley.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and lives at Hovingham, North Yorkshire, where he runs a family business involving farming, forestry and residential and commercial property.
He is also a non-executive director of the Skipton Building Society and The Brunner Investment Trust plc.
He was invited to open the new building by College principal Jeanette Dawson.
She said: “It’s extremely beneficial for our students to meet industry representatives such as president of the CLA, who can offer advice, encouragement and provide inspiration.
“William Worsley is a fantastic character, and a great advocate not only for Yorkshire, but for rural England and all that includes, and our learners and staff feel privileged to have met and spent time with him – it is something they will remember for a long time.”
The College’s Centre for Agricultural Innovation has been established to draw together all strands of land-based research currently carried out by staff and students at the College.
William Worsley was impressed the College’s facilities and the students he met during his visit, which included a tour of the campus and the chance to meet some of the College’s agriculture degree students, who spoke to him about their dissertation projects and their plans for the future.
He said: “I’m hugely impressed by the immaculate campus and how everything is so beautifully organised. The investment has clearly been used wisely and the improvements are wonderful.
“The idea of the Centre for Agricultural Innovation is a brilliant one. Both the idea and the building are very efficiently laid out and the students are clearly engaged. I’m very encouraged by the quality of the dissertations.
“I’m also encouraged by their engagement with commercial enterprises and the sponsorship they have obtained, it’s impressive that these businesses are so on board with it, and that the students are able to approach organisations with their ideas and get such positive responses.
“It’s really important to the CLA that young people are engaged with land management and agriculture, and we have recently launched a student membership to encourage this.”