During his visit to Suffolk Rural (formerly Otley College), Dr Poulter learned that plans have been put in place to open a farm shop on site over the coming weeks.
Dr Poulter was told of the plans during a tour and chat with students and staff from the College, where he also met up with a group of inclusive learners and discovered more about an enterprise project that they were working on. After speaking with the learners, Dr Poulter talked to a student from the horticulture faculty, Wayne Cool, who told Dr Poulter how the College had really helped him with his mental health issues.
He then enjoyed a visit to the arboriculture unit and listened to student - Ben Robinson – who described the College as being ‘a very special place’.
After his tour, Dr Poulter met with the senior leadership team from Suffolk Rural and heard how the union between Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural – that officially began on 1 January 2020 – had been positively progressing during the last two and a half years.
Speaking about the visit, Dr Poulter said; “It was great to find out how the College has been developing their offer to support local people of all ages and help them to learn new skills and to enable them to develop their careers.
“During the visit, I was pleased to discover that since Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural had joined forces, significant investment has taken place at the campus based in Otley, student numbers have almost tripled and the College has a number of exciting commercial plans in the pipeline that will help support the local rural economy.”
Organiser of the event was Trudi Rose Porter, Director of Health, Enterprise, Sport and Inclusive Learning. Trudi said: “We are grateful to Dr Poulter for visiting us. It was great that we were able to share with him our vision for the future and thank him, the local community, our students, staff and stakeholders for their ongoing support.
In addition to the farm shop plans that will see students grow local vegetables, plants and other produce to sell in the new venture, we have a number of other exciting announcements that we will be sharing with everyone over the coming months and we can’t wait for people to hear about them.”