Scotland’s business minister Ivan McKee recently visited Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Barony Campus, where he was given a tour of the college’s green innovation and natural economy projects.
During the visit, professor Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive of SRUC, and professor Nick Sparks, dean of the south and west faculty, explained how Forestry and the associated SRUC courses are helping to fill the agricultural skills gap.
Mr McKee was also given a tour of the Barony Dairy Unit, where professor Richard Dewhurst discussed how the £21 million Digital Dairy Chain project (funded by the UK government) would create jobs and boost the economy of South-West Scotland and Cumbria.
South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) also gave the minister a tour of the Dairy Nexus facility; an £8m facility that has been jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
The Borderlands Deal aims to decarbonise the dairy industry. After his visit, Mr McKee commented: “The Scottish Government’s Borderlands Deal supports the Barony Campus’ ambition to be a world-renowned centre for low carbon innovation, ensuring Scotland transitions its society and economy towards a net zero future with all regions achieving their potential.”
He added: “It’s great to see SRUC’s Barony Campus leading the way for innovation and collaboration in advanced, sustainable dairy production and processing, supporting and enabling the industry to improve sustainability and reduce emissions.”
Professor Powell concluded: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister to Barony at a hugely exciting and transformational time for our South and West Faculty and, indeed, for SRUC as a whole.”
“Innovation is vital if Scotland is to meet targets on net zero and job creation, and projects like the Digital Dairy Chain and Dairy Nexus are outstanding examples of how SRUC is helping to lead the way in the green economic recovery.”