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Soil Science Breakthrough: Eden Project's Innovative Lab Ushers in New Era of Agriculture

Cornwall is on the brink of an agricultural revolution with the creation of a cutting-edge soil science laboratory at the Eden Project. This new facility, known as the Centre for Excellence in Land-Based Research and Knowledge Transfer, is a joint venture between The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) and the Eden Project.

It has been granted a substantial investment of £574,820 from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth programme.

Situated within Eden’s geothermally-heated Growing Point nursery, the laboratory is set to conduct sophisticated analyses of soil, plants, and feedstock. Its establishment marks the beginning of a new chapter in sustainable and efficient land management, offering crucial support to Cornwall's farmers, growers, and horticulturists.

This investment, overseen by Cornwall Council and financed through the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, comes at a pivotal time for the agricultural sector. With the gradual withdrawal of government direct support payments, the focus is now shifting towards environmental land management and sustainable farming practices.

Agriculture plays a fundamental role in Cornwall’s economy and environment, significantly contributing to the region's Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment. The Centre for Excellence aims to strengthen this essential sector by providing rural businesses with the necessary expertise and skills for sustainable natural resource management.

This will have a positive impact on Cornwall’s environment and economy, offering guidance on vital issues like soil health, carbon capture, water retention, and biodiversity.

John Evans, Principal and CEO of The Cornwall College Group, stressed the Centre’s importance in promoting collaboration and innovation in Cornwall’s land-based industries.

The initiative is expected to enhance environmental sustainability and increase the resilience of the sector.

Dan Ryan, Head of Higher Education at the Eden Project, underscored the Centre’s potential to transform regenerative agricultural practices in the region, contributing to a greener and more prosperous future.

The funding from the Good Growth Programme, part of the £132 million from the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, reflects Cornwall Council’s dedication to environmentally focused economic development.

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for the economy, commented on the project’s alignment with the council’s goals for clean, circular economic development and natural capital enhancement.


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