£1m fund will help grow scientific research

Horticultural research charity the East Malling Trust has unveiled a £1million fund to support scientific work.

It says its 'director's grant' will enable NIAB EMR, the agricultural and horticultural research centre which it supports, to support five years of scientific research.

The money was raised through the sale of land on the 500-acre estate for 400 new homes.

The focus will be on developing new varieties of soft and top fruit as well as how to help UK and international growers mitigate the impact of climate change.

Research will also look at how improve plant health and resistance to disease.

Dr Oliver Doubleday, chair of the East Malling Trust, said: “This continues a century of support by the trust for the horticultural industry. We are delivering on our promise to sustain high-level industry-led research here at NIAB EMR."

The research projects receiving the funding will be overseen by Professor Mario Caccamo, CEO of NIAB. He said: “This grant scheme further cements our already strong partnership, and we look forward to delivering on the trust’s confidence in our scientists.”

The £1m grant is in addition to funding for the delivery of new research glasshouses and plant growth facilities. These facilities are home to Growing Kent and Medway, a partnership of leading businesses and universities working together to promote the sector’s economic growth.

The new facilities were part of an £18m investment from the government’s Strength in Places Fund along with a significant contribution from East Malling Trust and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Source: Kent Online