A lovely, but very hot, day at the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials.
The Hartpury Horse Trials have become a renowned fixture in the eventing calendar. This five-day event attracts internationally recognised riders from across the globe and some of the biggest names in eventing.
Held at the fantastic Hartpury University and Hartpury College. Hartpury is one of the largest employers in the Forest of Dean and one of the best sports, equine and agri-tech educational institutions in the world.
Aside from the world class horses, it was also an opportunity for me to say thank you and farewell to the Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, Russell Marchant. Russell has been in charge at Hartpury for just over nine years. He has overseen tremendous growth and with him at the helm the university and college have become the world leading educational facility it is today.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to him. Thousands of students, both local and from elsewhere, have had their lives changed for the better by Hartpury and the growth that he oversaw has provided many of my constituents with employment and other opportunities. I know that he will be sorely missed.
It was also an opportunity for me to welcome the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Andy Collop. Andy will be starting in his new role in September and is coming to the Forest of Dean from De Montfort University. I wish him all the best and look forward to working with him in the future.
Hartpury is one of the beneficiaries of the £20 million Levelling Up Funding given to the Forest of Dean by the UK Government. The money will be spent on a new University Innovation, Careers and Enterprise Learning Centre at Hartpury bringing jobs and education opportunities, alongside redevelopment of the Five Acres site as a leisure destination with a centre for sporting excellence that would also include a satellite site for Hartpury University and Hartpury College. I was very happy to meet with Ministers and lobby for the Forest of Dean’s bid to the Levelling Up Fund.