Grand opening of Centre for Pig Industry Training at Bishop Burton College

Bishop Burton College is delighted to announce the opening of its new state-of-the-art Centre for Pig Industry Training on Thursday 2 November.

Bishop Burton Farm Director James Richardson is excited to welcome over 300 sows to the new state-of-the-art centre.

The only one of its kind in a UK college, the farrowing facility will be producing pigs for processing in a unique collaboration with industry leaders White Rose Farms Ltd, part of Cranswick PLC. The first pigs will be welcomed for ‘bed and breakfast’ over the coming weeks, with farrowing beginning in early December.

James Richardson, Farm Director, said” “We are excited to be welcoming over 300 sows onto the commercial farm at the college and anticipate up to 10,000 piglets being born every year. The Centre for Pig Industry Training has been designed and developed to leverage technologies and modern farrowing practices to farm pigs sustainably and ethically, without compromising on production.”

Housing a total of 72 pens, the £1 million centre boasts the highest standards of welfare for the animals, with 6.5 square metres of living space allocated per pig and ample room for the rearing of piglets. Farm workers and students will also be well taken care of, as facilities include a canteen, office space and provision for excellent hygiene measures designed to minimise contamination risks.

The centre will be officially opened by special guest Charlie Dewhirst, Chief Policy Adviser for the National Pig Association. Charlie, who is from nearby Driffield, said: “I am honoured to have been asked to open this new facility. Cultivating the next generation of pig farmers is of vital importance to the sector and it’s wonderful to see the college investing in the future of farrowing.”

The official ribbon cutting will also be attended by a range of key local sector stakeholders, industry experts and college governors; plus, college Principal, Bill Meredith and Rick Buckle, Managing Director of White Rose Farms Ltd.

Rick said: “White Rose Farms is committed to ensuring the pig industry is fit for the future and that means investing in both technology and education. We are delighted to partner with Bishop Burton on this innovative facility which will provide the opportunity for many young people to develop the skills, knowledge and experience for rewarding careers within the pig industry.”

Constructed by renowned pig industry construction company, AM Warkup, the project adds to the already impressive facilities on campus, including the £1.4 million Centre for Precision Agriculture, part of the Institute of Technology, enabling students to develop higher-level skills.

Principal of Bishop Burton College, Bill Meredith, commented: “The commercial farm at Bishop Burton is already second to none in its provision for students; however, the introduction of pigs is a fantastic addition to our Aberfield sheep flock and Stabiliser herd. The first-hand exposure to pig-husbandry, within a state-of-the-art farrowing environment will give our students skills and experience that will be essential for the future of farming.” 

The college is currently accepting applications for September 2024. For more information, please visit