A £3 million project to upgrade and modernise Scotland’s bull stud farm is nearing completion.
The project comprises the upgrade of an existing bull hire facility at Knocknagael Farm, near Inverness and reaches completion at the end of April. Once work is complete, the facility will boast a quarantine unit for receiving bulls, along with veterinary and office facilities, a general purpose shed and accommodation for up to 150 bulls.
Robertson (Scotland) Ltd is the main contractor on the project and Kearny Donald is providing all architectural services. Throughout the project Robinsons Scotland Ltd, based in Lockerbie, are supplying and erecting the various buildings, in addition to fabricating and installing the internal pen system.
Throughout the project, four apprentices have been taken on and four work experience placements were created for 16-19 year olds.
Throughout the course of the improvement works, site visits were organised for the local agricultural community, in order to give them an insight into the construction techniques used for a facility like this. In addition, a school safety campaign was also organised which offered important warnings about the dangers of construction sites, alongside information about careers within the construction industry.
Robertson Scotland Ltd Regional Managing Director, Frank Reid, said:
“We were delighted to be awarded the contract and to work in partnership with the Scottish Government. At Robertson we strive to be active members of the communities where we operate and this project has allowed us a number of opportunities to engage with the local schools and agricultural community.
“In addition we have also connected with the local workforce throughout the duration of this project.”
Robinsons Scotland Ltd Company Director, Ryan Brown, added:
“This is a hugely important project to be involved with and it demonstrates confidence and quality in our products. It also highlights our ability to comply with all relevant health and safety standards.”
Scottish Crofting Federation Chief Executive, Patrick Krause, said:
“It is very satisfying to see that the bull stud facility at Knocknagael is being upgraded. The SCF has campaigned long and hard to retain the highly valued crofters’ cattle improvement scheme and it is commendable that the Scottish Government has supported this, and that the stud facility is being improved in a very socially conscious way.
“Everyone is aware that we have to be careful about how public money is spent, but there is no doubt that this is a good long term investment for Highlands and Island communities.”
A crofters’ bull hire scheme has been funded and operated by the Government since 1897, enabling crofters to access high quality bulls and supply quality calves to the beef industry throughout Scotland. For more information about the improved bull stud facility at Knocknagael Farm, please visit: www.home.scotland.gov.uk/home or www.rbscotland.co.uk/beef-housing-gallery/?nggpage=4.