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Walford Farm builds for the future

College appoints Shropshire Builders to re-develop Walford Farm.

jon parry and nick minshall

Left to right; Director of Walford Campus, Jon Parry, on site with Nick Minshall, Director of Minshall Construction

Walford and North Shropshire College has appointed the Market Drayton-based construction company, Minshall, to design and build the new development at Walford farm. The buildings will form the centrepiece of a £1 million investment in the farm. They will house a new 24:24 herringbone milking parlour, a robotic milking machine, a new dairy, office and viewing space, and accommodation for an additional 100 cows and young stock. This investment will ensure that students at the Walford Campus benefit from the very best facilities available.

Minshall Construction is one of the leading building and design specialists in the UK, with a very strong reputation for delivering top quality buildings. Nick Minshall, a Director of the company, said, “As a local company we were determined to win the contract at Walford Farm; it is a very high profile project.” Nick is a past Walford student, having studied agriculture from 1978 to198, and he thoroughly enjoyed his student years. He added, “These new buildings will ensure Walford Farm has some of the best facilities in the region. We are proud to be working with the College.”

Animal welfare has been key to every stage of the design process, with cow comfort informing the design and layout of the cow accommodation and new milking parlour. Neil Ridgway, Walford Farm manager, has worked closely with Minshalls, the College vets, and experts from the dairy industry to ensure the new buildings meet very exacting standards.

The development has been granted planning permission and the board of governors has fully supported the investment, so it is now full steam ahead. Dramatic changes to the farm are expected over the next few weeks as the site is cleared and many of the old, very poor quality, farm buildings are demolished.

Jon Parry, Director of Walford, said, “Walford is committed to farming commercially and demonstrating best practice in all our farming activities. We believe that to be a successful dairy farmer you need to work with the very best staff, cows and equipment, and this investment is the final piece of plan. We have a superb team of staff and some very good cows, so I am determined to ensure our facilities match this ambition.”

The new buildings are programmed to be completed in June 2013. Those students who start their courses at Walford in September 2013 will be among the first groups to benefit from the new state of the art facilities.

For more information about courses at Walford and North Shropshire College please visit the website at or telephone 01939 262100.


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