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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Grass research centre in merger
IGER (picture: IGER)
IGER will merge with the university next year
A leading grass research centre is to merge with Aberystwyth University.

The Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), based near the seaside town, said it was the "best possible conclusion" for staff.

The university said it welcomed the partnership with IGER, which has worked on projects at the Millennium Stadium and Wimbledon's centre court.

The research centre, which employs about 300 people, said the merger was expected to go ahead in April 2008.

Last year, it said it was cutting 40 jobs after losing major contracts. The redundancies were to offset a 3m drop in income.

But IGER said it did not "envisage" any further job losses as a result of the merger.

Its director Professor Mervyn Humphreys said: "It is an exciting time for IGER science, with the need to address the challenges of climate change and the options for a more sustainable future."

Grassland (generic)
Some of IGER's work centres on developing grassland

He added: "I am confident that this new partnership with the university provides IGER with an opportunity to retain its importance as one of the world's leading research institutions."

Prof Noel Lloyd, vice-chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said he welcomed the move, adding: "The initiative offers exciting scientific opportunities and will enable us to create an internationally competitive research entity."

IGER also has research sites near Brecon and in Devon.

It is one of seven research institutes in Britain sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

In 1999, IGER looked at ways of preserving the turf at the Millennium Stadium. It has also helped develop grass seeds for Wimbledon's centre court.

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