THE second phase of building at Lincolnshire’s new £24.5m land-based college campus is set to start after contracts were exchanged by key parties.

The Riseholme College Showground Campus, based at the Lincolnshire Showground, is believed to be the first new land-based college campus to be built  in the UK in around 50 years. The new facilities will complement those currently at the nearby Riseholme Campus.

Building of the £13m first phase of the campus started in October and it is on course to open this September. Phase one will include an Innovation Centre featuring state-of-the-art teaching resources and precision technology, an Animal Management Unit and engineering workshops.

Now the £11.5m second phase of the campus will go ahead after £7.5m was secured for the project from the Government’s Single Local Growth Fund by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP. The college will cover the remaining finances.

Jeanette Dawson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Riseholme College, a part of Bishop Burton College, said: “This is absolutely wonderful news. It once again reaffirms our commitment to land-based education in the UK’s premier agricultural county.

“I would like to thank the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and Lincolnshire Agricultural Society for helping make this happen. The support we have had across the county has been absolutely wonderful and I am delighted we can now progress with this important project.

“The new state-of-the-art Showground Campus will complement our much-loved facilities at Riseholme College and all our students will benefit from studying at both sites.”

Phase two will incorporate a number of new buildings to further enhance the college’s curriculum across the existing site and the new campus. These will include:

• Food & Agri Food Science Centre
• Health & Nutrition Centre
• Sports & Health Science Centre

The new Showground Campus will also include an all-weather surface for multi-sport performance testing.

Ruth Carver, Director of the Greater Linconshire LEP, said: “We are very pleased to see work begin on phase two of the new campus at the Lincolnshire Showground. The contribution of £7.5m that the LEP secured from the Government’s Single Local Growth Fund through the Growth Deal will secure completion of this important project.

“Skills and experience are key to driving the momentum of our local economy and UK plc. Up-skilling our young people to fulfill the requirements of a growing and increasingly technical food sector is of vital importance.

“This is why we are whole-heartedly supporting the development of this new campus as part of our ambitious growth plans for the whole of Greater Linconshire.”

The new buildings will provide top class facilities that will be used as part of the Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone – a partnership between the Lincolnshire Showground and Riseholme College Showground Campus.

The food enterprise zone, one of just 11 across England, will make it easier for farming businesses to grow and bring new jobs and opportunities to boost the local economy.

The initiative will see the college support training, research and technology development opportunities with food production businesses across the region.

As part of the agreement, businesses will have access the college’s state-of-the-art resources, including the food and nutrition laboratories, the sports nutrition facilities and a whole host of precision farming technology.

The new facilities will help sustain and grow land-based education in Lincolnshire, contributing to the local economy and providing businesses with the skills they need to remain competitive.