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University of Reading Acquires £16m Farmland to Boost Agricultural Research

In a significant move to enhance its agricultural research capabilities, the University of Reading has purchased Tanners Farm for £16 million. The 635-acre site, located near Arborfield, comprises a mix of pasture, arable land, and woodland.

Image source: University of Reading

The acquisition is a key component of the university's ambitious Agrifood Futures Strategy, which seeks to bolster research and innovation in sustainable agriculture and food production.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, emphasised the institution's long-standing commitment to agricultural research. "For over a century, we have been at the forefront of food and farming research. This new investment underscores our dedication to leading in sustainable food production and supporting the agricultural sector's future," he stated.

The newly acquired land will initially be leased back to its current users, a move designed to maintain continuity and support existing biodiversity schemes. This approach aligns with the university's broader goals of promoting sustainable land use and environmental stewardship.

Tanners Farm's diverse landscape offers a unique opportunity for the university to expand its research in various areas, including crop science, livestock management, and environmental conservation. The integration of this farmland into the university's research portfolio is expected to facilitate groundbreaking studies and innovations that address global challenges in food security and sustainability.

The investment in Tanners Farm also reflects the University of Reading's broader strategic vision of strengthening its impact on the agricultural sector. By providing state-of-the-art research facilities and fostering partnerships with industry stakeholders, the university aims to drive advancements in agritech and sustainable farming practices.

As the University of Reading continues to build on its century-long legacy of agricultural excellence, the acquisition of Tanners Farm marks a significant milestone in its journey towards shaping the future of food and farming.


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