Queen awards College highest national honour

  • February 2024

The college was invited to a celebratory dinner hosted at the Guildhall Wednesday (21st) evening along with other Prize recipients and guests, the evening was hosted by Clare Balding, followed by a keynote address from Tim Davie CBE Director General of the BBC. This was followed by a formal ceremony on the 22nd with Their Royal Highnesses the Queen and Duke and Duchess of Gloucester to receive the Prize Medal.

The Prize was accepted on behalf of Plumpton College by Chair of Governors Julie Dougill, Principal Jeremy Kerswell, and Director of Wine, Sam Linter. Following the ceremony, staff and students who attended the Palace had the opportunity to meet members of the Royal Family and discuss their degree course and future career prospects.

The Prize recognises the work of Plumpton College as the sole innovator and developer of industry-led training and education programmes supporting growth and sustainability of the English wine industry since 1985. This progressive employer-college partnership has grown from foundation and degree programmes to an offer including a Master’s programme, industry CPD and more recently introductory-level wine academies and apprenticeships. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak extended his congratulations to Prize recipients:

“The UK has a long and proud history of research, discovery and excellence in education and training. I am delighted that the 2022 -2024 winners are continuing that tradition. The sheer breadth and variety of the work is impressive. In health, robotics, space, engineering, sustainability, animal welfare, photonics, skills and training, the English wine industry and more, you are pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve. Thanks to your ingenuity, your dedication, and your hard work we are making real progress in science, transforming public health, growing the economy, and improving and enriching people’s lives.”

Principal Jeremy Kerswell comments:
"It is with immense pride and gratitude that I accept the Queen's Anniversary Prize on behalf of Plumpton College. This prestigious recognition underscores our unwavering commitment to excellence in education, particularly within the dynamic landscape of the UK wine sector. Plumpton College stands as a beacon for producing skilled professionals who not only elevate the standards of the UK wine sector but also contribute to its global prominence. This award is a testament to the collective dedication of our students, faculty, and industry partners, propelling us forward in our mission to shape the future leaders of the viticulture and winemaking world."

Watch a YouTube video here of the Awards Ceremony where our Principal and members of Plumpton College meet Her Majesty the Queen.

Viticulture is the UK’s fastest growing agricultural sector*. A recent industry survey from Wine GB has reported around 2300 FTE currently employed within this sector, with a workforce of around 30,000 required by 2040. There has never been a better time to join this exciting sector with a growing range of career opportunities for career changers and new entrants joining directly from further education. There are a few places remaining to join our degree programmes starting this September.  

Find out more on our University Courses

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