Local MSP Rachael Hamilton welcomes rural skills opportunities at College’s Newtown campus

Group of people standing next to an electric ATV

Pictured above, left to right, are College Principal Pete Smith, Rachael Hamilton MSP, Director of Enterprise & Business Innovation Katharine Mathison, Head of Sector for Rural Skills Andrew Johnson, and Assistant Principal for Curriculum & Quality Lynne Gilchrist.


During a recent visit to the College’s Newtown St Boswells campus, local MSP Rachael Hamilton said: 

“It was great to join the team at the Borders College and speak to staff and students about the fantastic rural provision delivered here.”

The purpose of Ms Hamilton’s visit was to meet some of this year’s agriculture students and learn more about the implementation of the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, and the sector-leading rural provision on offer at the College. 

Welcomed by College Principal Pete Smith, Ms Hamilton received a tour of the campus facilities and was given the chance to speak with students and look at teaching practices in areas such as farming, horticulture, and animal care. 

Coming from an agriculture background herself, Ms Hamilton was delighted to see some of the newer technologies used at the College, including the Electric ATV, and the Events Trailer learning facility.

Group of people practicing horticulture in a greenhouse

The local MSP was keen to discuss three new projects that are funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

These projects are designed to increase employability opportunities for those out of work, boost skills for local businesses and allow feasibility work to help meet the growing demand for land-based skills to be undertaken.


Ms Hamilton added:

“It was fantastic to meet so many students at the Borders College campus in Newtown who are making great use of the facilities on offer to them.

“The College is exceptional at giving our young people the chances they deserve to learn and work in rural environments such as in animal care, horticulture, and agriculture.

“I was also very pleased to see so many more young women getting involved with these rural courses, boosting vital skills across the board.

“Thank you to Pete Smith and the team for showing me around and introducing me to some of the fantastic students who are reaping the rewards of the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Funding allocation.”

Borders College Principal and CEO, Pete Smith, said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ms Hamilton to our Newtown campus to see the range of technologies and learning opportunities available in the rural sector and discuss the important role the College will have in generating a skilled workforce for these areas.

“The Shared Prosperity Fund will enable us to continue to upskill and reskill to boost rural skills for the local economy.”

The College would like to thank Ms Hamilton and her team for taking the time to visit the campus.

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