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Devolution will develop Holbeach’s Food Enterprise Zone say county bosses

County bosses have explained how the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution deal will benefit the south of the county by helping with the creation of high paid jobs.

Lincolnshire County Council had previously given the Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach as an example of how investment from the deal – which will bring about the introduction of a mayor – would improve the area.

The council along with the two unitary authorities in the north of the county have agreed to accept the Government’s offer of £24million a year despite concerns raised by LincsOnline readers who are unhappy to have another layer of bureaucracy imposed.

The FEZ brings together academics from the University of Lincoln’s National Centre of Food Manufacturing with agri-food businesses in a bid to create cutting edge technology.

Inside the new National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the Holbeach FEZ
Inside the new National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the Holbeach FEZ

Coun Colin Davie (Con), executive councillor for economy at the county council, said: “The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone is attracting local, national and international businesses to the site. This creates new jobs in the local area, as well as having considerable benefits to other Lincolnshire businesses in the supply chain – everything from logistics companies, support services, growers and engineers.

“The University of Lincoln’s Holbeach campus at the FEZ provides training and development opportunities that supports this. This includes a whole host of skills needed to support the agricultural, horticultural sectors including the latest technology, robotics, research and development.

“As part of our devolution deal, we are looking to support the development of the UK Food Valley that the South Lincolnshire FEZ is part of, which again gives residents the opportunity to get higher paid, higher skilled jobs, supporting our wider local economy.

“We also have a one-off capital investment fund for the next year which will provide grants to businesses in the UK Food Valley area – helping them compete at the very forefront of this sector.”

Coun Colin Davie wants a 'Conservative budget'
Coun Colin Davie wants a 'Conservative budget'

The county council is also selling six new development plots at the FEZ site.

The plots range in size from 0.37 acres to 1.63 acres and are available from £75,000 to £325,000, say Savills.

Along with the opportunity to work with the academics at the university, the site also benefits from The Hub, which provides a multi-use space for all business tenants including support services, networking, meeting and events space and catering. Specially designed workshops and office spaces to suit food manufacturing and agri-tech establishments are also available.

The office hub building - South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ)
The office hub building - South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ)

Victor Ktori, head the commercial department at Savills Nottingham, says: “This is an extremely attractive opportunity for businesses in food manufacturing and agri-food sectors looking to benefit from the new high quality business park, supported by an infrastructure to encourage collaboration and stimulate the sharing of ideas and best practice.

“Being in close proximity to top talent will also draw businesses to the enterprise zone which is situated within the largest concentration of food manufacturing, research storage, and distribution in Europe. It offers a perfect opportunity for tenants, owner occupiers and developers, looking for collaborative space and synergy with The University of Lincoln.”

A breakfast presentation is being held at The Hub on June 6 to discuss the latest market developments in the food and farming sector and opportunities for businesses at the Food Enterprise Zone.

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