A TV archaeologist will deliver lectures on the heritage industry at the new cultural institute in Swindon from September.

Professor Mark Horton, who presents BBC2’s Coast, has become a research fellow at the Royal Agricultural University’s Cultural Heritage Institute in the council-owned former GWR Carriage Works.

Mark said: “I have a passion for the environment especially that of our coasts, and it is so exciting to be joining the RAU at this time, helping to train a new generation in the conservation and enjoyment of our heritage.

“We’re especially looking forward to welcoming students to our exciting new purpose-built learning centre in the former Great Western Railway Carriage Works later this year.”

Dr Lucy Meredith, deputy vice-chancellor of the RAU said: “The Cultural Heritage Institute is central to our commitment to developing a thriving, dynamic school for exploring the human past and to support the Borough Council in its ambitions to increase the higher education options available in Swindon.

“The RAU has a long history of engagement with the land, landscape and wider environment; Professor Horton’s appointment emphasises our commitment to multi-disciplinary research and to the growth of the CHI.”

The CHI, which opens later this year, will teach postgraduate courses, such as an MBA in Cultural Heritage Leadership in September 2019 and, from January 2020, MSc degrees including archaeological and heritage practice, historic environment management, landscape archaeology and historical archaeology.

Led by the RAU in partnership with other academic and commercial partners, the CHI is a response to a national skills gap across the historic environment sector.

The conversion of the Carriage Works will create a standalone structure into Unit 11 of the West Shed – creating offices, seminar rooms, a library and lecture space over two floors.

It forms the second phase of the development, following the creation of the Workshed last year, with Swindon Borough Council hoping it will go some way to offering more higher education options to students in Swindon.