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The Scottish Funding Council’s Financial Transactions Programme is part of the funding package behind the UK’s biggest centre for avian research and skills.

The £5.6 million Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Centre was opened today by Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Centre, owned by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) aims to improve nutrition, health and welfare across the international poultry industry.

£1.9 million has been invested by the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) with funding from Innovate UK. SRUC invested £3.6 million with support from the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) Financial Transactions programme, aimed at aimed at strategic campus development, energy efficiency or improved student experience projects.

The Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Centre will significantly broaden the poultry research capability available through CIEL’s nationwide network of university partners, enabling businesses to work directly with world-leading researchers to develop new technical innovations in food production.

Once fully operational, the Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Hub will employ between 30 and 35 people and host four post-graduate students.

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said:

“CIEL and Innovate UK are excellent partners in the project and I’d also like to thank the Scottish Funding Council for its support.

“A future with industry, researchers and governments working in closer collaboration is how we will meet the agricultural challenges of tomorrow.”

Mike Cantlay, SFC Chair said:

“The Allermuir Centre is exactly the type of project we want to benefit from our Financial Transactions programme.

“This facility will provide research and skills development for an important area of our economy and will contribute to Scotland’s reputation for world-leading research. I look forward to following its progress and to celebrating its successes in the future.”