Former staff of the horticulture center at Newton Rigg College, Penrith, plus many of its students, have now been transplanted to facilities at Lowther Castle and Gardens. The NR Training School of Horticulture at the castle was officially opened by David Beeby, the High Sheriff of Cumbria, who likened the occasion to a phoenix rising from the ashes of Newton Rigg.
The Penrith campus has been shut down by its former operator Askham Bryan College, York, which is now in the process of selling off its assets. Mr. Beeby said: “Newton Rigg College was first established in 1896. Today we are seeing a new entity emerging with a bright new future. The horticultural enterprise today is only part of the story.
“We know that Cumbria is a large and diverse county; that the agriculture and land-based economy is fundamental to Cumbria’s future and also its world heritage status; and that the industry is also experiencing significant change as a result of Brexit and environmental initiatives.
“We also know that in order for the land-based economy to develop and thrive it is absolutely essential that there is up-to-date educational training available in Cumbria for Cumbrians utilizing the best of traditional and modern rural skills and land-based education. It is fantastic to see that after all the hard work of the Newton Rigg Ltd directors and their many supporters we are starting to see the foundations of a new college, fit for the future. I am in awe at the progress that has been made. There is still a long way to go but I want to express my congratulations to you all for what has been achieved so far.”
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