SCOTLAND’S RURAL College is investing £310,000 in a new equine centre at its Craibstone campus in Aberdeen to create new opportunities for students to learn practical skills.

New stables for up to six horses, a ménage, equipment storage, and supporting facilities for students, are all included in proposals which will be put forward for approval in the next couple of months.

It is expected that most of the centre will be completed by the end of this summer, in time for the arrival of the first cohort of students on the HNC/HND Equine Studies courses at Craibstone.

The new HNC course gives students practical experience and knowledge of horse care and riding, while the new HND course provides additional experience and knowledge in management within the equine industry.

Both courses are open to students with no prior riding experience and can be studied on a full or part-time basis. Equine studies students will have the opportunity to progress on to degree courses such as Veterinary Nursing or Rural Business Management.

The new equine centre will also offer additional opportunities for Animal Care students.

Teaching at the new equine facilities will supplement practical teaching delivered by Aberdeen Riding Club through its partnership with SRUC. SRUC also offers Equine Studies courses at its campus in Oatridge, in West Lothian, which is the home of the Scottish National Equestrian Centre.

Dean of SRUC’s North Faculty, Caroline Argo, said: “Horse husbandry, training and business management skills are in high demand. We’re delighted to be able to offer more opportunities for students to help them enter and flourish within the equine industry. We’re looking forward to our role as an integral part of the equine community across the North of Scotland.”