Contract signed for construction of £28.7m combined Advanced Plant Growth Centre and International Barley Hub

The James Hutton Institute and McLaughlin & Harvey have signed construction contracts worth £28.7m for the next stage of the ongoing redevelopment of The James Hutton Institute’s Invergowrie estate.

This new contract comprises the construction of a combined Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC) and International Barley Hub (IBH).  Procured via the SCAPE Scotland Construction Framework, and part-funded by the Tay Cities Deal, this next phase is part of a masterplan to create two institute-led innovation centres at Invergowrie, helping to establish Scotland as a leader in global food security and crop resilience.

The Tay Cities Region Deal is a partnership between the UK and Scottish governments along with public and private organisations across Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross that together will invest up to £700 million in projects promoting sustainable and inclusive prosperity for the region.

Enabling works for the IBH and APGC are ongoing on-site with a number of older buildings demolished to make way for the new facility being built in the heart of the Invergowrie Campus.

Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC) and International Barley Hub (IBH) building

“Moving into the next phase of the International Barley Hub’s construction is a significant milestone in this project, which aims to futureproof the barley sector across Scotland and the UK. This new facility will serve as the key research hub of the facility and is set to bring around £60 million benefit and over 1200 jobs to Scotland over the next 10 years”

Colin Campbell, Chief Executive at the James Hutton Institute

Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government is investing £17 million towards the redevelopment of the James Hutton Institute’s facilities at Invergowrie, alongside our ongoing support for the Institute and its work to support innovation in the food and drink sector.  Innovation in food and drink and more widely is being supported through the Scottish Government’s plan to transform the economy, the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “These new facilities will undertake vital research that will support food security and the future prosperity of our farming industry, while also creating new jobs for the region. The UK Government is investing £45m at the James Hutton Institute through the Tay Cities Deal, which is part of more than £2 billion for initiatives levelling up communities across Scotland.”

Robbie Clark, Operations Director at McLaughlin & Harvey said: “We are delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with the Institute. Having recently completed the state-of-the-art Barley Field Centre facilities, our highly experienced project team will now move seamlessly on to the delivery of the new Advanced Plant Growth Centre and International Barley Hub.  By procuring the new facilities through the SCAPE Framework, the Institute will also provide measurable tangible benefits to the local community and economy as part of the build.”

More Information: 

About The Tay Cities Region Deal: The Tay Cities Region Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross under the headings Inclusive Tay; Innovative Tay; International Tay; Connected Tay and An Empowered Tay.

In total, the 26 projects submitted require an investment of £700 million of which £300 million over 10 years is being put in by the UK Government and Scottish Government, subject to final approval of robust business cases.

About the APGC and IBH: The new combined facility will embody the idea of Agriculture 4.0, a green revolution with science and technology at its heart, and the aim of feeding future populations. It will also boost the impact of the UK’s International Development agenda.

The Advanced Plant Growth Centre will take advantage of technological advances in controlled environment growth and post-harvest storage systems to support, de-risk and develop the entire food and drink sector.  The International Barley Hub is set to translate scientific research into tangible impacts for all barley-related industries in the breeding, farming, malting, brewing, feed, food and health sectors. The International Barley Hub (IBH) will promote scientific discovery and innovation to tackle these issues, as well as pilot new technologies for crop management, such as precision agriculture sensors and drones.

About McLaughlin & Harvey: McLaughlin & Harvey is a privately-owned construction and civil engineering business with 170 years of experience. The company employs over 800 people and operates throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland delivering quality construction, civil engineering and fit-out projects, and facilities management services, to various sectors.