The project will see a strategic partnership between Harper Adams University and Telford & Wrekin Council, with new collaborative facilities based in the Borough’s town centre, boosting high-end skills and industry-focused research.
Talking to Political Reporter Rob Trigg on BBC Shropshire this morning, he said: “We’ve established a new relationship with Telford and Wrekin – obviously, we’ve had a long standing relationship with them as we are part of the Borough, but as part of developing what we’re doing at Harper, we’ve got two new initiatives – one which is working with them on something that the Borough is already developing and then something we that have brought to the table.
“The first thing is that the Borough has developed something called Station Quarter as a digital skills hub, which is right next door to Telford Station, right at the heart of the Borough, making it easy for people to access education and skills in a number of high growth areas, and we’re delighted to be the University partner that’s going into that development.
“That’s a big step for Harper Adams, because up until now in our 120 year history, all of our education programs have been very much based around this particular campus site just outside Edgmond.
“The other one is we have a Vet School with Keele University, [as well as] a broad-based set of research and education in animal sciences.
“We are investing a new, state of the art Animal Diagnostics and Health Facility to support that education and to support that research, but we have made that decision with Telford and Wrekin that we are going to locate it at Ni.PARK in Newport, so it is in the centre of a business and science area and will take the university’s research, education and knowledge exchange again off the campus, into the heart of the community in a really important area of activity for animal health and food security.”
And while underlining the global impact of Harper Adams, which draws students from across the globe, having graduates, placement students, and partners internationally, Professor Sloan added that he hoped the new ventures would underline the strength of Telford and Wrekin and the wider region – drawing fresh investment and new jobs.
He said: “I hope the people in the Borough, but also in the county, can be proud of the fact that their local University is really wanting to engage in opening the door wider, to encourage more people to look at the activities that we do – either in the main campus in Edgmond, either in what we’re going to do in Station Quarter, or what we’re taking out to Ni.PARK – I hope it opens up a range of opportunities and really gets people interested.
“If they are interested in feeding the planet and doing it sustainably, we are the University where that’s what we work on – and we want to make it easier for people to access it.”