A SCOTTISH brewer and university have announced a new link-up to encourage more black, Asian and minority ethnic students to carve out a career in brewing and distilling.

Heriot-Watt University and Brewgooder, the Glasgow-based craft-brewing and “clean water” company, announced a bursary programme starting from summer 2021 with the aim of improving diversity in the brewing industry.

The successful student will receive £2,000 each year by Brewgooder for a total of four years whilst studying on the BSc (Hons) Brewing and Distilling course based in at the campus in Edinburgh.

Brewgooder has also pledged to offer hands-on work experience with its team in Glasgow, providing invaluable industry experience.

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Kirsten Nicolson, operations and logistics executive at Brewgooder, who graduated this year from the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt, said the bursary is part of a wider programme to boost diversity.

She said: “We know it’s a small step towards greater diversity but it’s one we think is in the right direction, and should it prove successful it can be the blueprint for more of our own efforts, and those of other brewers and distillers to increase opportunity in our incredible industry.”

The ICBD at Heriot-Watt is renowned for its excellence in learning and teaching.

Dr Dawn Maskell, head of the ICBD, said: “The partnership with Brewgooder is a fantastic initiative and is helping introduce more diversity into brewing and distilling.

“As an industry we know we have a way to go in encouraging more people from different backgrounds into the sector but the support of Brewgooder and this bursary is a positive step in the right direction.”

Scotland’s first black professor, Sir Geoff Palmer, taught at the university.

Sir Geoff was professor of cereal science in the ICBD, which was part of the school of life sciences when he retired in 2005.