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'Poultry training academy' plans submitted by Acres Farm, Naburn
A FARM on the edge of York could be sold to create a training base for students of poultry which could be worth almost £15 million to the city.
Four bidders are in the running to buy Acres Farm, at Naburn, which is owned by City of York Council and was recently put on the market for redevelopment after the authority agreed to sell it ten years ago.
The authority’s property teams have now recommended a sale to an unnamed bidder who, through a partnership with the University of Nottingham, plans to develop the farm – which has outbuildings needing complete refurbishment, a yard and 8.85 acres of land – into a “poultry training academy” which is expected to create up to 15 new jobs, such as vets and laboratory technicians, by 2015 and 23 jobs by 2019.
The university plans to launch a diploma and masters degree in poultry production this year, which would include areas such as veterinary science, product quality, health and welfare of the birds and public safety.
Research by the council’s economic development teams has shown that, despite this bid for the farm being the lowest of the four in contention, the facility could bring £14.8 million into York’s economy by 2019 through jobs and educational opportunities.
A report by the council’s property surveyor Lynn Hanser, which will go before the authority’s cabinet next week, said: “It is proposed that the new college would provide facilities for both the clinical poultry department of the bidder, but also allow prospective students to undergo further training for both veterinary-related qualifications and also qualifications for students within the industry.
“Agri-food (food which is produced agriculturally) has been identified as a nationally and potentially internationally leading strength of York and North Yorkshire, and the proposed development could position the city to gain further supply-chain benefits.”
The report said that while the other three bidders had all offered more for the farm – with the amounts being kept confidential – the recommended bid was still “reasonable market value” for the land and would mean a “significant economic benefit” for York.