NIAB begins facilities upgrade at East Malling

Construction has started at NIAB EMR, as part of the £30m regional food-related ‘Growing Kent & Medway’ initiative.

The development includes new glasshouses, offices and labs at the site in East Malling in Kent, and, according to the organisation, will transform plant-based scientific research facilities across the South East and strengthen the competitiveness of Britain’s horticulture, food and drink industries.

£18 million of funding was secured from the Government’s Strength in Places Fund by NIAB EMR and is now being used to build upon more than a century of strategic and applied horticultural research undertaken at the site. This funding is complemented by a matching contribution from the East Malling Trust and commerce in order to deliver new modern research facilities and new science projects.

Professor Mario Caccamo, Managing Director of NIAB EMR, said, “The state-of-the-art plant growth facilities will enable our scientists to accurately manage the cropping environment and test the response of fruit crops and novel technologies to help improve productivity, crop profitability and generate new skilled jobs across the sector. A big thank you must go to all those who have recognised the global significance of the work done here at East Malling.”

Dr Oliver Doubleday, chair of the Board of the East Malling Trust, added, “The delivery of this ambitious project follows our vision to see East Malling to continue to develop as a global innovation centre. The modernisation of the site was long overdue and will support the team at NIAB EMR to remain at the cutting edge of technology. We are very excited to be able to support this development and look forward to continuing our partnership with NIAB EMR to deliver world-class science at the service of the UK’s growers.”

Photo caption: Artist’s impression of the new facilities

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