New science campus

The funding generated from the sale of the Ditton Edge and Parkside, would enable the former East Malling Research, now NIAB EMR, to be transformed into a modern research facility.

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It would offer a new administration and research building alongside state-of-the-art laboratories and glasshouses and will be the subject of a separate planning application.

Existing buildings would be refurbished, new research-standard glasshouses would be developed alongside field trial areas and vineyards to help support the scientists at NIAB EMR and also attract other research organisations and companies to Kent.

At the heart of English fruit production for more than a century, the decision has been taken to look to the future and how the science undertaken at NIAB EMR can support our food security and environmental performance. To achieve this requires the development of international centres of scientific excellence – one of which is NIAB EMR.

To sustain world-class science and research at East Malling, and attract new companies, there is the need to invest in new facilities and refurbish existing buildings that are no longer fit for purpose for cutting edge research.

NIAB EMR needs to secure funding. East Malling Trust have assessed a number of options as how best this can be achieved. The consensus is that, in the absence of Government funding, this can only be done by releasing part of East Malling Trust’s 550-acre estate for development.

The release of land, which is surplus to scientific and commercial needs, will assist in providing the necessary funding to deliver the required investment for the new research facilities and help ensure the long-term future of the Trust. The proposed new Science Campus would be the subject of a future detailed planning application.

Aerial view with research overlay

The science

NIAB EMR currently undertakes a wide range of nationally significant and high-level scientific research on the site, including:

In addition, it offers commercial services to the fruit and horticulture industry, including:

The offering

The new campus would combine outstanding research and field trial facilities for NIAB EMR and its commercial partners who range from multinationals to SMEs and start-ups.

Entering the campus from New Road in East Malling, visitors would continue through orchards containing the latest varieties, as well as a unique gene bank for future generations. The new research facility will be sympathetic to its historic and rural environment.

Whether arriving by foot, train or car, visitors will be able to walk on some of the many public footpaths and open spaces around the site.

Aerial view of site

World-class facilities

Unique is a word frequently used, but for NIAB EMR it is certainly appropriate. The facilities would include a research building, field trials areas, orchards, glasshouses and growth facilities – all on one site – for NIAB EMR and other science-based businesses.

It would connect applied research with industry and create the right environment for NIAB EMR and its commercial partners to operate efficiently and collaborate.

The research building, providing accommodation for 120 researchers, administrators, partner organisations and academics, would sit close to the glasshouse and trials complex, providing easy access to key facilities, as well as providing a linked route to the existing Orchard Café and Conference Centre.

Well connected

Rail access from East Malling, or nearby Maidstone, gives easy access to London or international destinations via Ebbsfleet, Ashford, the airports of Gatwick and Heathrow, or the Channel Tunnel.

East Malling Trust glass houses