East Malling trust seems safe

Horticulture Week, Thursday, 26 June 2003 12:00AM

Trust offers bright future to research institute

After a year of uncertainty, the future of the Horticulture Research Institute East Malling looks brighter, following a proposal that may keep it functioning as an independent organisation, under the auspices of the East Malling Trust. The future of the organisation has been under scrutiny following the publication of the Quinquennial Report, by its sponsor, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. DEFRA recommended that it should close or come under the direction of the East Malling Trust. Commenting on the developments, East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research director Dr Jim Quinlan said: “The HRI has been losing money for some time, not because of bad management, but a decline in funding. The fact that there is a possibility the we could remain open is highly significant, because the HRI is a major contact for research and development.” The outcome of the proposal will depend upon on the HRI achieving certain assurances from the East Malling Trust, during current discussions. Trust chairman Dr Ian Graham-Bryce would like the discussions to be settled promptly: “It is in everyone’s interest that the future of East Malling is resolved quickly. We believe that our proposal will provide a way forward for the station and for the horticulture industry.” The trust consists of 16 trustees drawn from leading members of the perennial crops industry and from prominent academics and leaders of the business sector. Its main objective is to support research for the benefit of the horticulture industry, especially relating to the perennial crops.

This article was first published on Horticulture Week

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