Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots, has planted a Coral Bark Maple tree on the grounds of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise's (CAFRE’s) Greenmount Campus.
This marks a £75 million re-development project for the Greenmount and Loughry campuses, announced recently, while commemorating the centenary of Northern Ireland.
NI100 - a fitting commemoration
Commenting, Minister Poots said that planting this particular tree on the grounds of Greenmount is a fitting commemoration during the centenary year of Northern Ireland.
"This tree symbolises strength and endurance – something that I hope for in the next century for us all, especially after a difficult 2020.”
“CAFRE offers a wide portfolio of courses that have sustained and enriched our local agri-food sector over the last 100 years.
"I was delighted to recently announce a £75 million investment in the CAFRE campuses at Greenmount and Loughry which will reinvigorate and modernise the college and ensure that the next generation of students have access to world class facilities.
Poots - Investing in the future
Minister Poots said that by investing in the next generation of students, the wider Northern Ireland economy is bolstered.
"Around 75% of Northern Ireland’s land is used for agriculture with the agri-food sector employing over 100,000 people and generating £5 billion for our economy.
"Investing now, will ensure that our agri-food sector is secure in the long term and can compete on a global scale.
"We have so much to offer, from our food to tourism with beautiful landscapes and environment, economic and development potential, and the most important of all the people. I look forward to the future.”
It is understood that construction on the Greenmount and Loughry campuses will begin in late 2022 / early 2023.
Director of CAFRE, Martin McKendry previously stated:
"The building work will have a phased approach to minimise disruption to the delivery of our programmes and we have a target completion date of 2028.”