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Craven College's new £1.6m Animal Management Centre was officially opened by Councillor Wendy Hull, Chair of the Craven District Council on Friday 29 June. Local dignitaries, representatives from partner schools and colleges and business leaders joined the celebrations.
The purpose-built centre on the Aireville Campus, which was partly funded to the tune of £800,000 from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP, will extend the high-quality provision for Animal Management students and enhance their vocational skills in the animal management industries including livestock and wildlife management from September 2018.
The new facilities include a reception area with a bespoke room for Dudley the Boa Constrictor, specialist rooms for fish, invertebrates, nocturnals, reptiles and amphibians plus quarantine and isolation rooms. Rabbits, guinea pigs and small mammals rats have their own indoor and outdoor areas. There is a dedicated dog exercise area and grooming room, outdoor and indoor aviaries, outdoor runs for ducks, hens and geese and a wildlife area.
Robert Bellfield, Principal said, ‘The new build will dramatically improve the existing facilities for all Land-based students to ensure their course delivery continues to meet and exceed employer needs now and in the future. Students will develop skills to work in a wide range of local industries including wildlife rehabilitation and management, pet stores, zoos and animal collections, agriculture including open farms and farm parks, game management etc. and to develop skills in relation to the management of habitats for wildlife'.
Joanna Baxter Centre Manager Animal, Equine & Engineering Studies commented, 'There are many factors that make this Centre specialised, not only the specific species rooms, but other design features such as the acoustics of the rooms, which are much more beneficial for the animals, the indoor and outdoor areas provide environments for a broader range of animals, state of the art air handling units, reverse osmosis water, ensuring no contamination for fish, amphibians and invertebrates. It actually provides teaching resources to cater for level 1-6 students.'
The Centre has also benefitted from the artwork of The Guardian sponsored graffiti artist and ex-student, George Banks, with his inspirational designs on some outside walls.
Rt Hon Julian Smith MP said 'I am delighted that Craven College is opening a new Animal Management Centre on their Aireville campus. This is precisely the kind of investment in skills and future generations that we need. Craven College has been incredibly successful in expanding the options for 16 to 19 students over the last few years, and we are very fortunate to have a college in our area that provides such high quality and diverse educational opportunities.
Photos courtesy of Steve Garnett.