National Pig Association - The voice of the British pig industry

Pig World logo

Home > News > Charlie opens Bishop Burton's new £1m state-of-the-art Pig Industry Training Centre

Charlie opens Bishop Burton's new £1m state-of-the-art Pig Industry Training Centre

6th Nov 2023 / By Alistair Driver

NPA chief policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst has officially opened Bishop Burton College's new state-of-the-art Centre for Pig Industry Training. 

Bishop Burton Training Centre openingHousing a total of 72 pens, the Yorkshire college said the £1 million centre boasts the highest standards of animal welfare, with 6.5 square metres of living space allocated per pig in the farrowing accommodation and ample room for the rearing of piglets.

Farm workers and students will also be well taken care of, as facilities include a canteen, office space and provision for excellent hygiene measures designed to minimise contamination risks.

The new farrowing facility will be producing pigs for processing in a unique collaboration with White Rose Farms, which is owned by Cranswick. The first pigs will be welcomed for ‘bed and breakfast’ over the coming weeks, with farrowing beginning in early December.

Constructed by renowned pig industry construction company, AM Warkup, the project adds to the already impressive facilities on campus, including the £1.4 million Centre for Precision Agriculture, part of the Institute of Technology, enabling students to develop higher-level skills.

The centre was officially opened by Charlie, who is from nearby Driffield. “I am honoured to have been asked to open this new facility. Cultivating the next generation of pig farmers is of vital importance to the sector and it’s wonderful to see the college investing in the future of farrowing,” he said. 

The official ribbon cutting was also attended by various key local sector stakeholders, industry experts and college governors; as well as college Principal, Bill Meredith and Rick Buckle, managing director of White Rose Farms.

James Richardson, Farm Director said “We are excited to be welcoming over 300 sows onto the commercial farm at the college and anticipate up to 10,000 piglets being born every year.

"The Centre for Pig Industry Training has been designed and developed to leverage technologies and modern farrowing practices to farm pigs sustainably and ethically, without compromising on production.”

Mr Buckle added: “White Rose Farms are delighted to partner with Bishop Burton on this innovative facility which will provide the opportunity for many young people to develop the skills, knowledge and experience for rewarding careers within the pig industry.”

Mr Meredith said: “The commercial farm at Bishop Burton is already second to none in its provision for students; however, the introduction of pigs is a fantastic addition to our Aberfield sheep flock and Stabiliser herd.

"The first-hand exposure to pig-husbandry, within a state-of-the-art farrowing environment will give our students skills and experience that will be essential for the future of farming.”

The college is currently accepting applications for September 2024. You can explore the courses HERE