Tayside and Central Scotland

Up to 70 jobs axed at James Hutton Institute amid cuts

Balruddery Farm, James Hutton Institute Image copyright James Allan
Image caption The James Hutton Institute operates a number of farms where crop research is carried out

Dozens of jobs are to be axed at a leading Scottish farming and environmental research centre.

The James Hutton Institute, based in Invergowrie and Aberdeen, is to cut up to 70 jobs as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed at reducing costs.

Chief executive Prof Iain Gordon said the institute needed to adapt to an "ever-changing funding environment".

The voluntary redundancy scheme will be opened to staff in May.

The institute, which operates a number of farms leading research into crops including barley and potatoes, has about 600 staff split between its two sites.

'World leader'

A spokesman said an income generation strategy had "identified key areas of strength, potential growth and sustainable income to ensure its long-term future".

However, this review meant there would be "a reduction in activity and staffing levels in some other areas".

Prof Gordon said: "Like all organisations that are supported in large part by the public sector, we face an ever-changing funding environment, and we must adapt to meet these challenges.

"Staffing reductions in some areas will enable us to focus our activities on key strengths and areas for growth.

"This is just one element of the changes we are undertaking to make the institute the world leader in research to support the sustainable use of land and natural resources."

The James Hutton Institute was set up in 2011 by the amalgamation of the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Invergowrie and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen.

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