The University of Reading has finalised a bold new proposal aimed at strengthening its research capabilities in agriculture, marking a significant milestone with the purchase of Tanners Farm for £16m.

Situated across 635 acres in Farley, the grounds boast a diverse landscape featuring pasture, arable land, and woodland, strategically located near the university’s existing farm in Arborfield.

Tanners Farm has been thoroughly managed with a strong emphasis on conservation, featuring initiatives designed to enhance wildlife habitats and safeguard the natural environment. The university plans to initially lease the land to its current users while continuing to maintain biodiversity enhancement projects.

MORE NEWS | First Welsh milk processing plant by Pembrokeshire creamery

MORE NEWS | Muller seeks farmers for third sustainability program

The gaining of Tanners Farm aligns closely with the university’s Agrifood Futures Strategy, underlining its commitment to expand its agricultural research capabilities.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, vice-chancellor of the university, expressed enthusiasm about this latest development, stating: “The study of food and farming has been at the heart of the university’s work for more than a century.

“Our mission is to develop new methods and partnerships that will transform the way healthy, sustainable food is produced in Britain.”

He added: “This is another important step to raise Reading’s position among the world’s best for agricultural research.”

This new addition complements the University of Reading’s existing agricultural facilities spread across Reading, including mixed farmland and infrastructure in Arborfield, Shinfield and Sonning. Funding for the purchase was drawn from the university’s capital investment funds.

Professor Simon Mortimer, head of the university’s school of agriculture, emphasised the strategic significance of this move, highlighting: “The university’s purchase of Tanners Farm will give us the opportunity to research and demonstrate solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing Britain and the world.”

With this latest investment, the University of Reading is capable of further advancements in agricultural research allowing for innovative breakthroughs in food production and sustainability.