The Princess Royal, the Chancellor of Harper Adams University, opened the Dairy Crest Innovation Centre at the Harper Adams University campus, Newport, Shropshire yesterday. She spent two hours touring the facility before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
Her Royal Highness was accompanied throughout her visit by Stephen Alexander (Chairman, Dairy Crest), Mark Allen (Chief Executive, Dairy Crest) and Dr David Llewellyn (Vice-Chancellor, Harper Adams University).
Her Royal Highness was particularly interested to hear about the knowledge sharing partnership between Dairy Crest and Harper Adams University – a unique development between a major food business and a University. The partnership means a number of students will spend time working within Dairy Crest on 12 month placements and one-off projects. It also gives Dairy Crest access to research, staff and students at the University.
The Princess met several students from Harper Adams who are spending their placement year in industry working for Dairy Crest. She also viewed the state of the art facilities at the Innovation Centre, including development kitchens, a pilot plant and the laboratories. Before unveiling the plaque, she commented, “May I just thank Dairy Crest for joining the University of Harper Adams on this Innovation building. It is very exciting for everybody and very nice for the University to have its reputation and future underlined in quite such an interesting way. So we all look forward to what is going to happen in this building.”
Mark Allen, Chief Executive of Dairy Crest, said:
“I am delighted we were able to welcome the Princess Royal to open our new Innovation Centre. Building brands and adding value is fundamental to everything we do at Dairy Crest. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy.
“I am particularly excited that the Dairy Crest Innovation Centre, which is home to our research and development and technical teams, is built on the campus of Harper Adams University. The university is well known and respected for its leading role in food, farming and science education. Harper Adams and Dairy Crest are both very proud of the ground-breaking partnership. It is built on regular interaction between our respective staff and Harper Adams students, giving Dairy Crest a link into leading research within the agriculture and food sectors.”
Dr David Llewellyn, Vice Chancellor, Harper Adams University, said:
“The Princess Royal takes a keen interest in developments at the University and we were pleased to be able to show her the unique and very positive collaboration we have developed with Dairy Crest. A number of our students were able to discuss their research projects with the Chancellor, all of which were related to the company’s research and product development activities. It is always a pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness to Harper Adams, and to be able to celebrate the opening of the Dairy Crest Innovation Centre in this way made it a great occasion for the company and the university.”