Agriculture and food security research at RAU boosted by £2 million donation

PhD research into topics such as growing soybean as a profitable, low-carbon crop will continue to thrive at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) following a donation of £2 million

The RAU has received this research investment thanks to the John Oldacre Foundation, which supports the agricultural sciences and is a long-term funder of doctoral study at the University.

The RAU’s current John Oldacre scholars are already supported by an investment of nearly £190,000 and are working on crop science projects that will be of long-term benefit to the UK’s food security.

The new endowment of £2 million will ensure future research of this kind at the RAU in perpetuity – an estimated two new PhDs per year. It will also enhance links with the agricultural research community, including a collaboration with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB).


Neighbourhood Engagement Vehicles

Why not come to one of our events?

The Constabulary operates two Neighbourhood Engagement Vehicles that are on the county’s roads most days visiting communities across Gloucestershire. They provide valuable links with neighbourhoods by supporting events, the latest Constabulary campaigns, police operations and also work with the Police and Crime Commissioner. You can find out here where the vehicles are this week.

Graduation 2018

The graduation and prize-winners’ ceremony will be on Tuesday 4 December 2018 for those who were unable to attend the ceremony in July 2018.

Bookings are open now until 23 November 2018. Tickets and gowns can be booked here: Ede & Ravenscroft.




11:00 Registration opens Frank Garner lecture theatre
11:00 Gowns available for collection Frank Garner lecture theatre
13:15 All students and guests to be seated in the marquee Marquee
13:30 Graduation and prize winners’ ceremony commences Marquee
11:30 Ceremony concludes Marquee
17:00 Gowns to be returned by this time Frank Garner lecture theatre

RAU graduate wins Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year

Alex Dunn winning Farmers Weekly award 2018

Alex Dunn awarded ‘Agricultural Student of the Year’ at the 2018 Farmers Weekly Awards.

The judges cited Alex’s “entrepreneurial flair, her drive to gain experience and dedication to improving agriculture’s safety record” as reasons why she beat competition from other leading universities in the land-based sectory.

Alex’s nomination was partly due to her creation of an innovative farm safety app, which won the RAU’s own Grand Idea competition for young entrepreneurs where judges included Levi Roots from Reggae Reggae Sauce and Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton.

Alex graduated this summer with a first-class degree in Agriculture. She is currently in New Zealand working with a family of dairy farmers after winning the Richard Wigram Scholarship which invites students to visit the country to learn and share best practice.

She told the Farmers Weekly: “This is an industry that is exciting and open to those not from farming backgrounds. I like the quick response to actions in dairy and I’m good at reading people, so my short-term goal is to become a dairy farm manager. I would also love to get into milking goats because this is a growing market in the UK.

“Poor health and safety in agriculture is a deep-rooted problem that needs a solution. This app would help to protect staff and visitors by changing attitudes towards health and safety and promoting best practice.”

She said of her time at the RAU, in Cirencester: “The University’s Enterprise Society really helped me to develop my ideas, as well as a proof of concept and a business plan that was really scalable.

“What excites me most about the business is to be able to make a difference in the industry. It’s not only agriculture here – there are people studying business and equine and you can learn so much – food production, for example, is going to be so important in the future. The University helps you develop any business idea you’ve got, whether it’s related to the agricultural industry or not.”

Professor Joanna Price, Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University said: “Helping out on a local mixed livestock smallholding in Reading as a teenager fostered Alex’s love of the industry. She is a great role model for those who are not from a traditional farming background who may want to study a land-based subject.”

Independent judge Ian Pigott, farmer and Farmers Weekly Columnist said: “It is clear that Alex is not only extremely bright, but also intuitively perceptive of farming issues well beyond her years. But it is the overwhelmingly high regard with which she is viewed by her peers and lecture staff, recognising her skills as a leader, a team player and an asset for British farming, which stood Alex out.”

£4.2m centre for regional businesses and agritech entrepreneurs opens at Royal Agricultural University

NFU President Minette Batters has formally opened the Royal Agricultural University’s (RAU) new home for regional business development and UK-wide agritech innovation, the Alliston Centre.

Named after the late Professor John Alliston, who was Emeritus Professor of Agriculture at the RAU, the centre will be a base for Gloucestershire businesses of all kinds and a headquarters for innovators working across the UK’s agriculture and land-based industries.

Located within the RAU’s campus in Cirencester, over half of the £4.2m Alliston Centre will be used by Farm491, the University’s expanding agritech innovation and incubation hub. The rest will be home to the Cirencester Growth Hub – part of the Gloucestershire Growth Hub network – supporting local enterprises to achieve their potential, expand and create jobs.

The 15,000 sq ft building, in full operation from 31 July, will create a collaborative, entrepreneurial community where businesses can be born and developed.

Get fit for the summer at the RAU Gym.

The RAU Gym is set in the heart of the campus and is a fantastic facility for staff, students and members of the general public alike to improve their health and wellbeing. The facility currently has a functional training room, a weights room and a cardio zone.

Boasting 5 brand new pieces of cardio equipment, from Pulse Fitness, we have two Treadmills and two Cross-Trainers. We also have a new Tornado Trainer Air Bike. It’s even easier to get involved.  If the gym is not your thing we have a range of classes from fun outdoor circuits, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to Pilates and Yoga. So whatever your training goals here at the RAU we have you covered.

Membership for staff and students is free and for the general public is £20.00 per month payable by cash or standing order.

For any further information please feel free to drop by or send us an email

Amazon works with RAU graduates to bring their quality meat box business to new customers

James Mansfield and James Flower launched grass-fed meat specialist Field&Flower in 2010 shortly after graduating. The friends have seen order numbers rocket after being part of Amazon’s Treasure Truck campaign.

Starting with one cow, bought from the Flower family farm in Somerset, they now deliver their bespoke meat boxes to over 20,000 UK households and have an annual revenue of £2.7m.

As well as beef, Field&Flower also provide a range of poultry, wild game, fish, dairy and deli products from a small hand-picked team of independent farmers, fishermen and producers that share the same standards of welfare, sustainability and quality.

The new relationship involved working with Amazon Treasure Truck to sell luxury grass-fed steaks and brisket, rump steak and bone marrow burgers.

The Amazon Treasure Truck visits cities across the UK offering surprise deals on delicious food, limited edition items, seasonal must haves and much more.

“We’ve had overwhelming feedback from the activity and have seen a significant spike in subscribers and product orders – which are all part of our goals for growth.”

“Field & Flower has been a great success, as not only have we tripled the number of monthly meat box customers in one year, but we’ve also been praised in The Good Food Guide for the “remarkable quality” of our meat.

“We’ve even served steak from one of our pop-up kitchens to Sir Richard Branson! There are many skills that I use on a day-to-day basis that I was taught at the RAU, which have been invaluable in allowing my business to grow and establish in the last few years.”

RAU makes shortlist for Guardian University awards 2018

The Royal Agricultural University’s successful young entrepreneurs and dedicated staff have been nominated in this year’s sector-leading Guardian University Awards.

The University is one of three in the running for the prestigious Employability and Entrepreneurship award, thanks to its Enterprise Programme and support for students starting their own businesses.

Examples of businesses created by current and former students are Dartmoor Shepherd which produces gourmet lamb boxes and luxury sheepskin products, BiJimini cricket flour, Vermtek Pest Control and Jen Winnett Art, which is a collection of colourful prints and greetings cards produced from sustainable materials.

Second year RAU students Harry Devlin and Gerard Salvin are launching a business which sells designer shoes with a ‘quirky colourful style’. Devlin and Salvin shoes went through the University’s Grand Idea Competition in 2017 and came third.

The pair benefited from £1000 of funding from the programme to help them with prototype costs but just as importantly got help with legal advice, conference calls, and trademarking their name.  Harry will spend some of this summer developing the business further, as part of his self-employed placement.

Katy Duke, Head of Enterprise at the RAU, said: “We’re proud that the Guardian judges have recognised the wide range of viable businesses created by students here, as well as the University’s ongoing commitment to enterprise. We’ve built and nurtured strong industry links over many years, and our entrepreneurs benefit not only from this but the knowledge and experience of their lecturers.”

The Guardian University Awards will take place on 24 April.


RAU shortlisted for Whatuni Student Choice Award

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester is thrilled to have been shortlisted for a Whatuni Student Choice Award 2018.

Based on ratings by students, the University has received a nomination in the ‘Job Prospects’ category which is testament to the RAU’s consistently high student employability figures: on average over the past five years, 95% of undergraduates enter employment or further study within six months of graduation.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joanna Price said: “Working alongside business leaders and employers, the RAU delivers courses that provide students with the tools, mindset and networks they need to embrace the opportunities ahead and play essential, leading roles in shaping the future of the industry. We are incredibly proud that our graduates leave prepared for successful careers in their chosen field, whether that be leading innovation and change in industry, informing future land-based policy, or setting up their own business.”

The Whatuni Student Rankings 2018 will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on 19 April. You can follow all the action on the night with the hashtag #WUSCA.

Join the Gloucestershire 2050 Vision Big Conversation! – 1 February

Ambitious plans for the future of our County over the next 30 years will be unveiled at the launch of the Gloucestershire 2050 Big Conversation on Thursday 1 February which takes place from 3pm to 6pm at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Hundreds of people and organisations are expected to attend, and Cotswold District Council is urging local residents, businesses and organisations to be there so that they can shape the Gloucestershire 2050 Vision.

The Big Launch has been organised by the University of Gloucestershire on behalf of Leadership Gloucestershire, a partnership of the county’s leading public sector organisations.  The exhibition-style event will include stands hosted by a range of innovative local businesses and organisations that are shaping the way that Gloucestershire residents will live, work and study in the future.

The event will include the announcement of eight potential ambitions for the future of the county and six major projects that could radically transform the county’s reputation on the national and international stage, as well as delivering significant improvements in the quality of life for local people.

The Big Launch will also mark the opening of a six-month programme of public engagement activity to develop the Gloucestershire 2050 Vision, and collect alternative ideas from residents and organisations.

CDC Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Partnerships, Cllr Chris Hancock, is looking forward to the launch:

“The Gloucestershire 2050 Vision is a very exciting venture, and it is of vital importance that the Cotswolds is represented effectively at the Big Launch by both those in the 16 to 25 year age group and also older residents.

“The organisers want the conversation to evolve into an agreement on what people want Gloucestershire to be like by 2050 and how people can come together to overcome potential obstacles and realise ambitions.  There will be many opportunities to engage, including the use of social media, video, and attendance at action days.

Stephen Marston, Vice Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, added:

“Gloucestershire is a fantastic place to live with bustling towns, a historic city, innovative businesses and beautiful countryside. But we face some major challenges over the next 30 years that will have a significant impact on all our lives if we don’t take action to address them.

“400 people in the 18-30 age bracket are leaving the county every year to seek work elsewhere. Our working age population is only increasing by 1.4% a year but we’re expecting the number of people aged over 65 to increase by 66.8% by the year 2039.

“We need to make sure that Gloucestershire offers a great quality of life for every generation, based upon shared values, and that means we need to explore some big ideas for how we could do things differently.”

CLICK HEREto book your place for the Gloucestershire 2050 Vision Big Launch on 1 February.

For more information please contact Barry Grimes:  telephone  07871 222632 or visit