The John Oldacre Rural Innovation Centre (RIC) was officially opened by Professor Sir John Beddington in March 2014, following a £1.2 million investment by the University and the Frank Parkinson Trust. Based at Harnhill Manor Farm, the centre encompasses teaching, training and event rooms, a laboratory research workshop, a machinery workshop, a demonstration hall and has extensive external training capacity.
The RIC is a multi-functional facility offering rural skills training to both RAU students and external clients. Courses on offer cover: arboriculture, crops and pesticides, estate maintenance, health and safety, livestock, machinery, pest control, vehicles and workshop practices.
All courses carry accreditations from awarding bodies such as: BASIS, LANTRA and NPTC City & Guilds. Courses are delivered to organisations ranging from the Cotswold Conservation Board, Natural England and The Wildlife Trust, to local councils, schools, farmers and agronomy companies.
The RIC also hosts an array of research trials for private agronomic companies including BASF, NIAB and CCm. In addition, the centre provides an ideal location for events such as the RICS/SPAB Summer School, and for companies like NIAB TAG and Syngenta UK Ltd.
The John Oldacre Rural Innovation Centre plays a key role in encouraging individuals and communities to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude towards attaining business success, personal development and community growth.