East Malling Trust

Based at Bradbourne House, East Malling Trust is focussed on the advancement of horticultural and plant-based science for public benefit.

The Trust is a charity and limited liability company. It raises funds through effective management of its land and property; the events business at Bradbourne House; the Orchards Conference Centre and Café, as well as the commercial farm and short courses business. As a result, it is able to support horticultural research through financial and other means to NIAB EMR.

Bradbourne House

Its origins can be traced back to the purchase of 22 acres of land at East Malling in 1913 when a research station was established to solve the problems of commercial growers in the rapidly developing fruit industry. Today’s fruit industry remains under pressure and needs science to boost yields and protect against diseases and protect the environment.

Over the years, and thanks to the fruit industry, the original land was gradually added to and today is 550 acres in size. This expansion included the purchase in 1938 of Bradbourne House along with some 200 acres of land.

In 1921, the research station gained its independence from Wye College and became “The East Malling Research Station of Kent Incorporated Society for Promoting Experiments in Horticulture”.

In the mid 1920s friends of East Malling raised £30,000 and this later became the East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research.

Today, the Trust has a board of seven Trustees drawn from leading members of the perennial crops industry and from prominent academics and leaders of the business sector.

Aerial view of site


In 2016, East Malling Research joined forces with National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), a major international centre for plant research, crop evaluation and agronomy based in Cambridge, and established NIAB EMR.

Today, NIAB EMR’s mission is to conduct high-quality strategic and applied research in horticultural and environmental sciences, and to deliver knowledge, products and services that benefit public and private customers.

Scientific research

Its vision is to be recognised as the pre-eminent research institute in the UK, with a significant international reputation for strategic and applied research, development and innovation in horticulture, with particular emphasis on perennial and clonally-propagated crops.

NIAB EMR is a wholly owned subsidiary of NIAB and will continue to operate from its existing site at East Malling. The site continues to be owned by the East Malling Trust, the charitable trust which provides financial support and facilities for NIAB EMR.

Scientific research