Newton Rigg Ltd launch ‘NR Training’ to rebuild land-based education in Cumbria with first new courses announced for September start

NR Training Directors Andrew Counsell, Alan Bowe, Professor Andrew Cobb, Andrew Bromley, Christopher Crewdson

Community organisation Newton Rigg Ltd, who vowed to rebuild land-based education in Cumbria following the controversial closure of Newton Rigg College, have today launched ‘NR Training’ – a new land-based training provider set to deliver a growing range of courses from September this year, with the first wave of courses in Horticulture and Advanced Dairy Management now open to applicants.

Pivotal to the launch is an exciting collaboration with Lowther Estate that will see the expert-led NR Training School of Horticulture begin running courses in the inspiring surroundings of Lowther Castle and Gardens this September. A new course in Advanced Dairy Management is also now accepting applications as the first of numerous courses planned as part of NR Training’s Rural Business School vision.

Alongside their ongoing campaign to preserve use of Newton Rigg’s campus and Sewborwens Farm for education and training, Newton Rigg Ltd say the move is the first step towards a bright and sustainable future for land-based education in Cumbria and new  incorporated college.

Dr Jane Sullivan (educational consultant and Director of Newton Rigg College 2015-18) has played a key role in NR Training’s development along with Newton Rigg Ltd Director Andrew Counsell (former principal of Duchy College, Vice Chair of Landex).

Dr Sullivan said, “The NR Training initiative has been in development for some time and we are now delighted to offer our first courses starting this September in Horticulture and Advanced Dairy Management.

“Thanks to a fantastic collaboration with Lowther Estate the NR Training School of Horticulture is able to offer adult education in horticulture and garden design in the inspiring surroundings of Lowther Castle and Gardens, starting this September. In addition, NR Training’s Advanced Dairy Management course is now open for applications and is the first of a number courses planned to launch over coming months as part of our wider Rural Business School vision.”

David Bliss, CEO Lowther Estate, said “We are delighted to support NR Training and offer our estate to train the next generation of horticulturalists as part of this important drive to rebuild land-based education in Cumbria. Lowther Castle and Garden Trust, in collaboration with Ernest Cook Trust, already offer learning opportunities on its estate and we are excited to be able to extend this further”

“With 130 acres of gardens, each unique in its own right, the estate is truly inspiring and as part of the learning opportunities, students will help to maintain and create the gardens of this historic landmark and be part of the 20-year masterplan to restore them.”

General Manager of Lowther Castle and Gardens and Head Gardener, Martin Ogle said “I trained at Newton Rigg College, as did most of my team, so it is fitting that we now collaborate together to secure a future for horticulture education in Cumbria, whilst continuing our long-term efforts to reimagine the gardens at Lowther Castle”.

The team behind the NR Training School of Horticulture are familiar faces in Cumbria and have an established record of delivering high quality courses leading to employment in the horticultural industry. With over 100 years of experience between them, the team, led by Shelagh Todd, formery Head of Horticulture, Forestry and Floristry at Newton Rigg Campus, are ready to utilise the extensive gardens at Lowther to teach their students up to date skills in practical horticulture and garden design.

NR Training is a trading name of Newton Rigg Ltd, a local, independent organisation formed to protect the future of specialist land-based education in Cumbria for the benefit of generations to come. Led by Andrew Counsell, a director of NR Ltd and former principal of Duchy College, and Dr Jane Sullivan, former Director of Newton Rigg Campus and education consultant, NR Training is the first step of Newton Rigg Ltd’s plan to bring back a dedicated land-based college to the county.

Newton Rigg Ltd says ‘Cumbria’s local and business community has really come together in the fight to preserve Newton Rigg and to rebuild land-based education in the county’. The organisation has received support from numerous donors and major employers including Westmorland Ltd and the Carr’s Group.

Newton Rigg Ltd Director Chris Crewdson said, “With the launch of NR Training we are on the path to a sustainable solution for Cumbria and we are so grateful to the individuals and organisations who have supported us financially and with their advice and expertise. This is a community effort and we believe our county will look back with pride in future. We hope that any others who want to be part of this drive to rebuild land-based education in Cumbria will get in touch to offer their support or donate via our GoFundMe crowdfunding page – all help is welcome to accelerate our growth at this pivotal time.”

For more information or to contact the NR Training team or apply for courses, visit

Find Us On

Related Posts

Forest Machine Magazine is written and edited by a forest professional with over 40 years hands on experience. We are dedicated to keeping you informed with all the latest news, views and reviews from our industry.

To support us you can subscribe to our bi-monthly magazine which is delivered to your door from only £30 per year.

Subscribe here

#homeoflogging #writtenbyloggersforloggers #loggingallovertheworld

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *