Kemptville agriculture college should be run by North Grenville: report

The University of Guelph Kemptville campus. (Photo/File)

KEMPTVILLE – The facilitator looking into the future of the University of Guelph’s Kemptville campus is recommending the township take over the operation.

The report by facilitator and former agriculture minister Lyle Vanclief to the Ontario government this month looked into the future of the North Grenville facility.

The University of Guelph announced in March it would shut down the college campuses in Alfred and Kemptville due to financial reasons.

The Kemptville campus has 847 acres of land and roughly 52 buildings, ranging in age from 15 to 95 years old.

In his report, Lyle Vanclief says he met with Ontario colleges and universities about programming for the Kemptville campus but none are able to put aside the time to create the programming.

He says there is interest in the campus from skilled trades as a place for training as well as the private sector for skills training and upgrading. Two nearby colleges have also said they want to offer welding classes in Kemptville.

Vanclief believes the combination of interested parties would be able to lease most of the campus, providing many regional, community and agricultural benefits to the region.

Vanclief want to see negotiations start with North Grenville to transfer the campus from the Ontario government to the municipality and also have the province help with financial support for the management and transfer of the facility.

The Kemptville College Renewal Task Force is welcoming the recommendations, saying it’s “an exciting and promising development.”

North Grenville has already indicated it’s ready to take the next steps. CAO Brian Carre told the Kemptville Advance they will be contacting the agriculture minister to start talks “that will lead to a renewed enthusiasm for rural education, training and economic development that meets the needs of Eastern Ontario.”

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