AN ACTING legend has become chancellor of both the college and university at Hartpury. 

Hartpury University and Hartpury College have this week announced the appointment of esteemed British actor and presenter, Martin Clunes, as their inaugural chancellor.

Mr Clunes will serve as the honorary head of both specialist educational institutions, representing Hartpury in a ceremonial and ambassadorial capacity. 

The appointment marks an important milestone for the Gloucestershire university and college that offers specialist undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in agriculture, animal, business, equine, sport and veterinary nursing, as well as A-levels and T Levels. 

One of Britain’s best-loved actors, with a career spanning decades, Martin has starred in popular series and films including Doc Martin, Shakespeare in Love, and Men Behaving Badly, for which he won a Bafta.

He is celebrated not only for his contribution to the arts, but also for his commitment to charitable causes and the community.

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Dorset in 2019.

Martin and his family run a 130-acre farm which is home to horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats which make him so well-suited to the Chancellor role at Hartpury.

Stroud News and Journal: Martin Clunes has been appointed chancellor of Hartpury College and Hartpury University

He is an advocate for animal welfare and he shares Hartpury’s focus on driving positive change in animal and equine wellbeing through its research and University and College academic programmes. 

Speaking about the appointment, Martin said: “I’m deeply honoured to be appointed as the inaugural Chancellor of Hartpury University and Hartpury College.

"I look forward to sharing many of my passions and interests with like-minded students, staff, governors and alumni and am excited to share in their numerous success stories.

“I also look forward to advocating for the University and College’s many impressive achievements, helping to champion and support Hartpury at an exciting time in its 75-year history.”

Professor Andy Collop, vice-chancellor, principal and CEO of Hartpury University and Hartpury College said: “We are delighted that Martin will become our first Chancellor and look forward to him playing a pivotal supporting role in the growth and evolution of Hartpury University and Hartpury College.

“Martin’s commitment and experience in the equestrian, agricultural, animal and countryside realms align particularly well to Hartpury’s own values and specialisms. I have no doubt that he’ll contribute to Hartpury’s rich heritage and help to inspire staff and students alike”.