The James Hutton Institute

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The James Hutton Institute

Capital investment projects at the world-class James Hutton Institute. 

The James Hutton Institute invited the design team to lead the development of a masterplan strategy for the Institute on the existing Invergowrie site.

The need for a masterplan arose with the proposed establishment of two major capital investment projects at the site – the International Barley Hub (IBH) and Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC). Both projects are the subject of funding from the Tay Cities Deal. The masterplan study demonstrated how both projects would be physically and intellectually integrated into the Invergowrie Campus through design, construction and operationally once the facilities are completed.  The aspiration was to consolidate, secure and promote the James Hutton Institute’s role as a world-class research institute.


Development of the masterplan involved extensive stakeholder engagement with the Institute staff – scientific and non-scientific. Through these consultations, the design team developed a detailed understanding of the range of scientific activities that are undertaken on the site and the facilities which support these. They also developed a clear understanding of the constraints of the existing site and building configurations and where there was an opportunity to rationalise and improve the site to support the growing and expanding needs of the science.

A new site

The output of the masterplan study identified the opportunity to co-locate the IBH and APGC in a single new integrated building along with several central Institute facilities including the main entrance, collaboration and shared meeting space, auditorium and canteen. The new building will also enable co-location of many core institute lab support functions such as media prep, tissue culture and imaging.

The Interim Vision also sees the creation of the new Integrated Field Facilities Hub and some of the site roads and infrastructure works.

The project is being delivered in phases covering the following:

  • A new access road from the roundabout to the Main Campus has been constructed
  • Creation of the International Barley Hub Field Centre as an upgrade to existing farm buildings which were demolished for the new IBH/AGPC building
  • The IBH is the first project in a series of commercially focused innovation hubs. It will be a unique platform for the translation of barley research into commercial benefits for the entire brewing, whisky and food value chain.
  • APGC aims to deliver increased commercial, economic and environmental benefits to the agricultural, food and drink sectors in the UK and internationally, by innovative use of precision-controlled environmental technologies

These new facilities will undertake vital research that will support food security and the future prosperity of our farming industry, while also creating new jobs for the region. The UK Government is investing £45m at the James Hutton Institute through the Tay Cities Deal, which is part of more than £2 billion for initiatives levelling up communities across Scotland.

Malcolm Offord
UK Government Minister for Scotland


Moving into the next phase of the International Barley Hub’s construction is a significant milestone in this project, which aims to futureproof the barley sector across Scotland and the UK. This new facility will serve as the key research hub of the facility and is set to bring around £60 million benefit and over 1200 jobs to Scotland over the next 10 years.

Colin Campbell
Chief Executive at the James Hutton Institute

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