Nick Herbert visits local agricultural college

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has paid a visit to Chichester College’s Brinsbury Campus near Pulborough to see the role it is playing in supporting the rural economy.

Mr Herbert met up with Principal Dr Richard Parker to discuss a number of issues, including plans to introduce new university level courses at the Brinsbury campus, making it easier for local residents to study degree courses.

During a tour led by Head of Brinsbury Campus Sally Challis-Manning, Mr Herbert visited the blacksmith's forge and also met with floristry students who presented him with a traditional floral arrangement inspired by harvest time.

Mr Herbert also met Lin Brown, a former nurse who is studying Countryside Management, and heard about how the subject is increasingly popular with people who want to move into a new career.

Brinsbury specialises in rural, equine, agricultural and horticultural courses at all levels but also has large numbers of students training in construction, vehicle maintenance and hair and beauty.  Many of the students come from West Sussex, but some travel considerable distances for the specialist courses, such as blacksmithing, that Brinsbury has to offer.

The MP was also joined on the visit by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Chichester, Robin Baker.

Mrs Challis-Manning said: "Mr Herbert was surprised by how large the Brinsbury Campus is and he was impressed by the wide range of animals, large and small, that we have here for students to work with.  He was also pleased to hear that we have traditional Sussex beef cattle here as his family farmed these in the past."

Dr Parker said: "We were delighted to welcome our constituency MP, Nick Herbert, to our Brinsbury Campus and to be able to share with him the range of work that we do here.  He showed a keen interest in what we are achieving with so many students and the contribution they make to the rural economy."

Nick Herbert commented: "It was great to spend an afternoon at Brinsbury to meet some of the staff and students and take a look around the campus.  It's a superb college and I was impressed by the wide range of courses available.  And it was encouraging to hear that the college, like many others across the country, hasn't given up on its ambitious plans to redevelop the campus after the Government withdrew its pledge to support a £135 million project."

Mr Herbert added: "I was especially pleased to visit the dog grooming parlour to meet staff and students there, along with Lulu, a golden retriever who seemed to be coping well with all the attention she was receiving!"



Notes for Editors

1. For the website of Chichester College, which includes the Brinsbury Campus, visit

2. The photograph shows Nick Herbert at the dog grooming parlour with Lulu, a 10 year old golden retriever. Mr Herbert also met students on the 18-week course to gain a ‘Level 2' certificate in dog grooming under the guidance of Curriculum Team Manager Judi Walmsley.

Christopher N Howarth