Dozens of farmers across Lancashire are starting to learn new skills thanks to a major investment in the very latest technology through a new collaboration between the county’s colleges and employers.

The network of farmers is helping to share the opportunities presented by the investment of half a million pounds from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) Pilot being managed by The Lancashire Colleges.

The agriculture project – one of seven projects under the SDF Pilot – is being run by Myerscough College at Bilsborrow, near Preston, and has enabled the purchase of two new tractors featuring the very latest technology.

The Myerscough Ag Net Zero Challenge is also bringing together the farming community with events and sharing of knowledge and has recently staged four Carbon Farm Roadshows focusing on reducing carbon emissions, safety and technology with more planned in the near future.

Andrea Gardner, Head of Agricultural Projects at Myerscough College, said:

“The farming community in Lancashire has responded with real enthusiasm and energy to the opportunities presented by this project.

They’re already sharing ideas about how this new technology can be used, the benefits to their own businesses and how they work.

“We are creating a network which can collaborate to help themselves and their communities for the short and longer term and contribute valuable jobs to the economy of Lancashire.”

The £8.4 million Lancashire upskilling project aims to meet the needs of the zero-low carbon economy of the future through a pilot programme delivered by the county’s colleges.

Working with employers of all sizes across diverse projects covering agriculture, construction, energy, advanced manufacturing, digital and automotive, Lancashire’s Colleges are helping to create a skilled workforce for a future low-zero carbon economy.

The Lancashire Colleges was chosen by the Department for Education to deliver the SDF Pilot, exploring how education providers can work together more effectively alongside employers and other partners to respond to local skills and innovation priorities as well as tackling the zero-low carbon agenda.