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Education secure at Low Beckside as farm sale completes

The final stages of the sale of Newton Rigg's Low Beckside Farm are on the verge of completion, securing its future as a place of learning for young people. 

The purchase of the farm by the charity Ernest Cook Trust was announced in July and now, six weeks on, the sale is almost complete. 

Newton Rigg, the only remaining land-based learning centre in Cumbria, closed its doors in July after owner Askham Bryan College announced its decision to close and sell the campus. 

Low Beckside Farm is the sole remaining centre of learning on the land in Cumbria and was part of Newton Rigg campus. 

But partnerships are being forged between local colleges, and young people are due on site soon to learn about upland farming at Low Beckside Farm. 

The Ernest Cook Trust, a UK-wide educational charity, runs education programmes on its own estates and offers grants for land-based learning activities. 

The Trust bought Low Beckside Farm to secure it as a land-based learning centre for young people. It already has a presence in Cumbria, through a partnership with Lowther Castle. 

Chief executive Dr Victoria Edwards OBE said: “Here we will be farming ourselves for the first time and we’re looking forward to working with young people who are also starting out on their farming careers. 

“Key to making a success of Low Beckside is understanding what the community needs so we are looking forward to getting out, meeting and talking with people." 

Newton Rigg campus closed in July. Its other assets are being sold separately. 


Published in Farming UK 3 September 2021