A ribbon cutting marked the opening of a new factory at Wilshire College & University Centre enabling students to expand their inaugural apple project.
Principal Amanda Burnside cut the ribbon outside the new factory on Tuesday 25th September, alongside staff students and VIPs, who were then invited to take a look around, see demonstrations and taste some apple treats.
She said: “I am delighted to officially open the building and want to praise all the hard work that has been put into launching the project and growing it.”
The Apple Project began in September 2017 with the aim of eliminating food waste by producing natural and healthy food.
Students were able to use apples that would have otherwise gone to waste at Roundway Orchard in Devizes, run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, to make juice and chutneys, which were then sold at different college events including the annual Lambing weekends at Lackham.
Proving a hit with customers and also seeing students with learning difficulties thrive, the Foundation Studies department applied for £11,000 so that they could buy pressers, pasteurisers and bottles.
But NUS EATS, which supports institutions across the UK to cultivate their own student led growing sites, was so impressed with the project that they decided to increase funding to £17,000, and become one of only nine student-led social enterprises to be successful.
Cath Giles, Head of Department for Foundation Studies, said: “We were thrilled to receive the funding so that we could not only continue the project, but expand it.
“We’ve worked hard to develop the factory and it looks amazing.
“It is a fantastic facility for learners to develop their work related skills.”
With the factory now open, students will be pressing apples four times a week.
To see more photographs from the event, visit our Facebook page.