Promoting Green Shoots in the Letterkenny Training Centre

Donegal ETB’s Training Centre in Letterkenny recently took delivery of a new cultivator to enhance the learning experience on the QQI Level 5 Horticulture course.

The course, which has been based in the Training Centre in Ballyraine for the last two years has seen positive changes made to the six acres which surround the centre. These changes have seen an orchard, soft fruit garden, herb garden, rose garden, flower gardens, wild flower meadow and large scale vegetable production areas installed. In addition impressive composting facilities have been developed which has dramatically reduced waste creation within the centre.

Gareth Austin, who has been delivering the horticulture programme in the Training Centre said, “This cultivator is a great addition to the facilities for learners, allowing us to showcase the latest techniques in sustainable soil management and food production systems.” Gareth added, “This investment, when added to the many other horticultural facilities on site including the polytunnel, heat bench and composting facilities, has created a horticultural training facility unmatched in this part of Ireland.”

Learners who complete the QQI Level 5 Horticultural programme can progress to the Level 7 Agricultural Science course now offered in LYIT or the Foundation Degree course offered by CAFRE in Northern Ireland. Enrolment is now open for the full-time Level 5 Horticulture programme and applications can be made online at

Specific Skills Training is co-funded by the Irish government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.

Pictured with the new cultivator are l-r Guven Faracli (Contracted Training Officer), Colm Richardson (Assistant Training Centre Manager, Seamus Murray, John Keeve, Rory Keys, Mark Gormley and Gareth Austin (Horticulture Tutor).
Mark Gormley sampling the cultivator.