Elmwood College: call for time to create sustainable model at cash strapped college after students meet MP

The SRUC is scaling back and making changes to its operations at Elmwood College  (Pic: Submitted)The SRUC is scaling back and making changes to its operations at Elmwood College  (Pic: Submitted)
The SRUC is scaling back and making changes to its operations at Elmwood College (Pic: Submitted)
The fight to keep the animal care unit at cash-strapped Elwmood College has continued with students meeting Wendy Chamberlain MP for North East Fife.

It’s the latest development in the on-going concerns over the future of the long-established agricultural college.

In February, staff were briefed about major cuts at Elmwood where the financial position was described as “non-sustainable” with the SRUC set to quit its building at the end of term.

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Cuts to education budgets will see a drastic re-modelling, and the biggest hit would be the loss of the animal care course where the SRUC said it had “not been possible” to find a delivery model for the course. Hopes of keeping the existing facility as it left the rest of the building were “not viable” - neither was the costs of a new build or refurbishment. Horticulture could also be left with minimal facilities, while professional golf courses will be phased out and replaced with a new area of sustainable golf development.

Professor Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive, said that Elmwood remained an integral part of its future plans, despite fears over cuts and changes.Last week, Mrs Chamberlain met with students hear their concerns about the cuts to programmes and other essential student services.She said: “The meeting highlighted how important it is to ensure we keep these programmes up and running. That is why Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife, and I have been calling on the SRUC leadership to commit to saving the Animal Care Unit.

“There needs to be a plan to provide funding and time to allow a sustainable model for the site to be put in place.

“Here in North East Fife, the farming industry is a huge part of the community and provides high quality products across the country, as well as offering employment and boosting the local economy.

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“That is why the importance of providing training facilities for farming skills based in local communities cannot be stressed enough. Without them, the future pipeline of skilled employees is reduced and the specialist knowledge which is so crucial to farming practise is lost.”

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