A university college in Shropshire has been given £1.5million to create a new engineering and research building in the county.

Harper Adams University College will use the cash to create the £3million building at its site at Edgmond, near Newport.

University bosses say it will accommodate and support its National Centre for Precision Farming, carrying out research into food production and improved agricultural techniques, as well as education.

Prime Minister David Cameron made the funding announcement during his two-day trade trip to Brazil.

He was joined by Harper Adams Vice-Principal Professor Peter Mills on the trip to further the college’s role in the Science Without Borders initiative.

The initiative will fund Brazilian students to study agricultural engineering at Harper Adams from 2013.

Mr Cameron said: “It’s great for the UK that Harper Adams is establishing the National Centre for Precision Farming.

“This new higher education and research facility in Shropshire for engineering and farming students will lead to the creation of 160 jobs.

“I’m delighted that the university has joined Brazil’s science and education program and that Brazilian students will start studying there next year.

“It will help to strengthen the links between the UK and Brazil and will bring in increased revenue for the university.”

The 160 jobs will be created through graduates entering the engineering sector, college bosses said.

Dr. David Llewellyn, Harper Adams principal, said a scheme had already been developed for the new National Centre for Precision Farming and it had been given planning permission.

The overall cost of the centre is £2.93m, and it is expected to be in use by October 2013.

Dr. Llewellyn said the university college would play a critical role in developing an engineering response to Government priorities.