New £5.8m redevelopment of Pershore College opens

TV gardener David Domoney officially opened the £5.8m redevelopment of Pershore College at a celebratory event with students, staff, local businesses and stakeholders.

Angela Joyce, group principal with David Domoney. Image: Supplied
Angela Joyce, group principal with David Domoney. Image: Supplied

Domoney presents ITV's Love Your Garden and is a former student of the college. He cut the ribbon to open the new glass building which includes a Collections House, teaching rooms, laboratory, higher education suite and business conference zone as well as a new library area and reception featuring a living wall.

He said the horticulture industry is "phenomenal" and its diversity "transcends other industries" thanks to the many specialisations available.

"As educated horticulturists we can become scientists, growers, educators, retailers, artists, designers, architects, landscapers, photographers, broadcasters, writers, pioneers and entrepreneurs. The opportunity to control your destiny from an education here at Pershore College is phenomenal.

"A career in horticulture is dynamic and varied, exciting and profitable. This building is more than just a highly functional education centre - its dramatic, iconic and spectacular design is a beacon that shines to change the perception of a career in horticulture."

The new development features a state-of-the-art Collections House where exotic plants can thrive, featuring permanent and seasonal collections. It is environmentally controlled through an electronic management system to control ventilation, humidity, heating and lighting. In addition to protecting and enabling the plants to flourish in a semi-Mediterranean climate, the systems are readily accessible to students as a living demonstration of modern greenhouse technology.

The college also has a STEM centre (science, technology, engineering and maths) and agri-tech lab where students will be able to learn about the newest innovations in the field. These include sustainable horticulture, aquaponics (an enclosed sustainable system where fish and plants grow together without the need for additional chemicals) and the use of drones in growing techniques.

A new higher education suite for students on degree programmes, including horticulture and arboriculture, a new library and conferencing facilities have also been added.

Warwickshire College Group Principal and CEO, Angela Joyce, said Pershore had undergone "probably the biggest change in its long history" in the past year, both with the new build and curriculum changes.

"We have embarked on a fresh, dynamic journey to meet the demands of our new world and support key national priorities through the delivery of skills, education and training.

"This building is a visible landmark of this ambition. This investment will give all of our students - whether they are studying animal welfare, veterinary nursing, arboriculture or horticulture - an innovative, technologically-enhanced environment to inspire and give them the skills needed for industry today."

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