Collaboration unveiled in boost to Welsh agri-food economy

25 April 2023

A new partnership between AMRC Cymru and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai has been announced, aimed at transforming the rural Welsh economy by developing skills and exploring new technologies for the agri-food sector.

This partnership is linked to the Glynllifon Rural Economy Hub, whose purpose is to create a world class agri-food workforce with the highest levels of environmental standards.

Commenting on the opportunity that the agreement will bring to the North Wales economy, Andrew Martin, head of food and drink at AMRC Cymru said: “We are delighted to be able to make this agreement to help grow the Welsh agri-food economy.

“Our goal is to help the manufacturing and agri-food community access advanced technologies that will drive improvements in productivity, performance and quality. By pooling our expertise with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Coleg Glynllifon and Food Technology Centre, we will be able to provide solutions for the whole supply chain and help agri-food businesses develop new capabilities and embed new technological advancements and innovations.”

Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, is an umbrella organisation overseeing the operation of three member colleges in North Wales, including Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor - and is Wales's largest further-education institution and one of the largest FE college groups in the UK.

Martin Jardine, director of agri-food at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, added: “By bringing together the expertise of both Grwp Llandrillo Menai and AMRC Cymru, this agreement represents a fantastic opportunity for the rural economy to prosper by exchanging knowledge, innovating and providing easy access to wider support.

“We are excited to be establishing a centre for agri- tech as part of the offer provided by Glynllifon Rural Economy Hub, which is supported by the North Wales Growth Deal. We very much welcome the plans for AMRC Cymru to have a base within the hub and look forward to supporting rural businesses to adopt modern ways of working that aim to increase automation, efficiency and productivity.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, with the support of Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd. 

“It is fantastic to be here for the unveiling of this collaboration agreement between Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and AMRC Cymru,” said Ms Griffiths.

“We see collaboration between partners as being essential to driving future growth within the industry. Therefore, it is extremely positive to see two of the leading organisations within Welsh agri-food come together for the benefit of businesses both large and small.

“I very much see this agreement as being a boost not only to North Wales, but to the Welsh economy as a whole, as we seek to create a world-class food and drink workforce that is innovative, has the highest levels of environmental standards and is fit for the future.”

AMRC Cymru, managed by the University of Sheffield and a member of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, is part of a cluster of world-class centres for industry-focused research and development of technologies used in high-value manufacturing sectors. It has a global reputation for helping companies overcome manufacturing problems and has become a model for collaborative research involving universities, academics and industry worldwide.

Its £20m state-of-the-art centre, funded by the Welsh Government, focuses on advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food in the key research areas of future propulsion, sustainability and digital manufacturing.

Grŵp Llandrillo is set to work closely with AMRC Cymru on high-level knowledge transfer projects aimed at creating a highly skilled professional workforce across the supply chain that increase competitiveness and capitalise on commercial opportunities resulting in jobs and investment across the region.

The agreement includes a collaboration linked to the North Wales Growth Deal project – the proposed Glynllifon Rural Economy Hub - and represents a significant investment into the future economic prosperity of the north Wales economy.


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