Tomorrow’s technology for the farmers of today

Hartpury University & Hartpury College, a leading provider of agricultural education, is set to make Gloucestershire the go-to hub for agricultural technology after securing funding for a new initiative.

GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, has provided £1 million Local Growth Deal funding proudly to support the Hartpury ‘Tech-to -Plate’ project

Hartpury University & Hartpury College, based in the Forest of Dean, is highly innovative and agriculturally focused. This exciting project offers accelerator space for companies to trial agri-tech products which utilise artificial intelligence, robotic test beds and data management and provides access to wider digital experts, fuelling collaboration between sectors. The tech to plate project will help to:

  • Raise the profile of agriculture as an innovative and technologically advanced sector and therefore attracting new entrants / retaining existing staff within the county.
  • Increase the number of producers purchasing new technology within the county.
  • Create jobs

Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said:

“We are committed to levelling up across the whole of the UK and ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to grow and flourish.

“Technology and innovation are vital in modern agriculture so it is wonderful to see this project get underway thanks to this £1 million investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.”

GFirst LEP CEO, David Owen said: “We’re delighted to support the innovative and exciting Agri-tech project at Hartpury University & Hartpury College. The ‘Tech-to-Plate’ initiative compliments previous GFirst LEP funded projects within the county, namely Farm 491 at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, and will lead the work of increasing productivity in this important sector for the county.”

Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, Russell Marchant said: “Technology offers farming enormous benefits but we have to fully engage with it – that is where our new Agri-Tech Centre comes in. 

“It aims not only to educate young students but also, crucially, provide the right environment for industry to come and see technology in action, to get the overalls on and have a hands-on experience of making it work. To try before you buy!

“The Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre is part of our ambitious 10-year vision we have to create a Digital Innovation Farm, in response to an increasingly digital world with global demand for new technology in farming.

“Our plans for the next decade will provide essential support for agricultural businesses and professionals in Gloucestershire and beyond.

“These plans highlight the scale of our commitment and our ambition to be leaders in shaping the future of digital farming in the UK and beyond.”


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