Scottish Agricultural College moving to fresh fields

THE Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) is to relocate its Inverness operation to a new campus on the outskirts of the city.

SAC has 115 staff at 13 locations in the Highlands and Islands, including 45 researchers and consultants at Drummondhill in the city's Lochardil district.

Its move follows a decision by Inverness College to relocate from its city centre site to the new 75 million campus planned for Beechwood Farm.

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Professor George Gunn, head of SAC's Inverness-based epidemiology research unit, said: "I think it makes a lot of sense to have all research and educational institutions in Inverness in one place. It's conducive to partnership working and the sharing of best practice."

The Beechwood campus received outline planning approval from Highland Council last month.

It is claimed it could attract investment of about 300m and be vital in retaining the next generation of young people in the area.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise intends spending 25m on the project over the next five years. It will also include facilities for the proposed University of the Highlands and Islands and an expanded Centre for Health Science, as well as student accommodation, a hotel and business and sports units.

The SAC provides services to the land-based industries, in particular farmers and crofters.