SRUC plans new £35m campus in Dumfries & Galloway

Professor Wayne Powell

Scotland’s rural collage SRUC is planning to invest £35 million in a new facility in Dumfries & Galloway as part of proposals to create a new rural university by 2022.

The “state-of-the-art” facility, which has received business-case approval from the Scottish Funding Council, would be located at SRUC’s Barony campus.

SRUC said the new rural university will be a magnet for delivering educational excellence, a global leader in research and innovation, a fully integrated partner with industry and driving the growth strategy for Scotland’s rural economy.

The first stage in the transformation will see SRUC move to a faculty-based model, with three new faculties located across Scotland: North, (the Faculty of Agri-Food & Business), Central (the Faculty of Rural Science & Policy) and South & West (the Faculty of Pasture-based Agriculture, Forestry and Biorefining).

The model was identified via a thorough and extensive review as the best structure to deliver tangible benefits at a local and national level.

The investment strategy also includes a phased withdrawal over four years from SRUC campuses at Riverside in Ayr and Crichton in Dumfries & Galloway. SRUC currently maintains a small presence at these campuses and is in full consultation with unions and other stakeholders.

Professor Wayne Powell, chief executive and principal of Scotland’s Rural College, said: “This investment is the first major step in our transformational growth to Scotland’s new rural university. It is exciting and full of opportunity for teaching, applied research, the rural economy and Scotland as a whole. The decisions that we have made, and will implement over the next few years, are all the result of significant research and analysis. They will best serve our commitment to educational excellence, which in turn will develop the skills required for a vibrant rural economy in 21st century Scotland.

“The three faculties will enable us to bring skills and sectors together, and to strategically deliver an integrated, sustainable model for growth. The transformation programme will be delivered in close consultation with our people, partners and other stakeholders. Importantly, as we are implementing these plans over several years, our current students will be unaffected. I am looking forward to working with communities across Scotland to deliver a new rural university of which everyone can be proud.”

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