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 redevelopment project for the Greenmount and Loughry campuses, announced recently, and commemorates the centenary of Northern Ireland.
NI100 – a fitting commemoration
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.
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.”