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Behind the scenes of the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) in Holbeach





A new centre which bosses say could be vital to the future of global food production has been officially opened.

The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) will also be having a big impact on the South Holland economy by bringing together businesses and scientists on one site in Holbeach.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Hub for Agricultural businesses was officially opened last week - bringing an end to the first phase of the £16million development.

The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547294)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547294)

Ribbons were also cut for the The University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) and The Institute of Technology Digital Food Manufacturing Centre on Thursday.

Prof Val Braybrooks, Dean of the NCFM, told the opening ceremony that partnerships are being forged with Jamaica and Iceland along with helping firms in Africa.

She said: “We are excited with this development and looking forward to helping small and medium businesses.

“We are a major resource for the food manufacturing sector.”

Prof Val Braybrooks, Dean of the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (59547266)
Prof Val Braybrooks, Dean of the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (59547266)
Coun Colie Davie at Holbeach (59547264)
Coun Colie Davie at Holbeach (59547264)
Coun Nick Worth at the opening of the South Lincolnshrie Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547257)
Coun Nick Worth at the opening of the South Lincolnshrie Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547257)
Professor Neal Juster of the University of Lincoln (59547250)
Professor Neal Juster of the University of Lincoln (59547250)

Prof Braybrooks, who also paid tribute to Tony Worth and Andrew Stevenson, said the centre had gone from strength to strength and is helping to raise aspirations of school children in the area.

She also said that the centre’s relationships with employers such as Bakkavor, Nestle and Coca Cola, have stood the test of time.

Prof Braybrooks said that NCFM’s Park Road campus received its first investment in 2004 - at a time when the food sector was not on the ‘radar’.

She said: “Our pioneering attitude cannot stop.”

Jayne Almond officially opens the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach (59547232)
Jayne Almond officially opens the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach (59547232)
Robin Hancox from Lincolnshire Field Products (59547248)
Robin Hancox from Lincolnshire Field Products (59547248)
Simon Wright, Lincolnshire County Council's Regeneration and Portfolio Manager, at the Holbeach Hub (59547246)
Simon Wright, Lincolnshire County Council's Regeneration and Portfolio Manager, at the Holbeach Hub (59547246)
The Hub is now complete in Holbeach (59547244)
The Hub is now complete in Holbeach (59547244)

The Hub is one of the last buildings on this first phase to be completed.

It boasts more than 20 offices spread over two floors with eight industrial units. Some of the units have been lined ready for laboratory use.

There are already two prospective tenants and another firm is looking to take over the cafe section of the building.

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547240)
The National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547240)
Samantha Norman and Donna-Marie Lee open the Digital Food Manufacturing Centre in Holbeach (59547236)
Samantha Norman and Donna-Marie Lee open the Digital Food Manufacturing Centre in Holbeach (59547236)
The Hub at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547242)
The Hub at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547242)

Coun Colin Davie, the county’s executive member for economy, said: “There are 28 acres of land in joint ownership of Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council. It will give the FEZ the potential to create even more grown on space.

“We have had positive engagement from prospective tenants.”

The district council’s deputy leader Nick Worth highlighted the impact of the FEZ on Holbeach and added that one firm is making a move onto the site.

He said: “It provides great opportunities for our young people to learn new skills and move away from the low skill economy that has dominated our area for too long.

“The massive amount of investment in the FEZ has had a positive effect on the town and it has given confidence for businesses to invest in it.

“The FEZ with its links to the university and associations with Boston College and food businesses have made it for South Holland District Council the jewel in the crown of our local economy.”

Jayne Almond cuts the ribbon (59547230)
Jayne Almond cuts the ribbon (59547230)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547234)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547234)
Guests learn more about The Hub (59547224)
Guests learn more about The Hub (59547224)
Visitors learn more about the facilities in The Hub, Holbeach (59547222)
Visitors learn more about the facilities in The Hub, Holbeach (59547222)
Guests learn more about the facilities in The Hub (59547227)
Guests learn more about the facilities in The Hub (59547227)
The view from The Hub building in Holbeach (59547220)
The view from The Hub building in Holbeach (59547220)

One of the local businesses which is associated with the NCFM is Lincolnshire Field Products.

It’s owner Robin Hancox said: “It is fantastic and puts South Lincolnshire on the map.”

Visitors were able to get a taste of some of lessons enjoyed by university and school students.

Senior lecturer Oluseyi Moses Ajayi and apprentice Oliver Horne promote advancements in automation thanks to Tiago the robot.

He also demonstrated the progress in automation by programming a robotic arm to pick out blue sweets from a conveyor belt.

One of the offices in The Hub at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547218)
One of the offices in The Hub at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach (59547218)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547307)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547307)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547313)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547313)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547311)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547311)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547303)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547303)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547301)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547301)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547294)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547294)
The Hub in Holbeach (59547292)
The Hub in Holbeach (59547292)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547297)
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprises zone, Holbeach, Lincs., UK, on September 22, 2022. (59547297)
Students enjoy Carl Baxter's lesson (59547276)
Students enjoy Carl Baxter's lesson (59547276)
Carl Baxter and Charlotte Bailey teach students about the supply chain during a session in the Digital Food Manufacturing centre (59547268)
Carl Baxter and Charlotte Bailey teach students about the supply chain during a session in the Digital Food Manufacturing centre (59547268)
Prof Neal Juster, Coun Colin Davie, Prof Val Braybrooks and Coun Nick Worth (59547272)
Prof Neal Juster, Coun Colin Davie, Prof Val Braybrooks and Coun Nick Worth (59547272)
The eco-friendly bike rack at the Hub (59547270)
The eco-friendly bike rack at the Hub (59547270)

Passionate Mr Ajayi has been inspiring local school children with the demonstrations.

He said: “We want to show that food is not just about cooking or the kitchen but we can apply science to solve issues like the shortage of labour

“This is something that can help to support the food sector.”

Julie Harby, Jessica Cassidy, Liz Mallett and Sharon Hefford in the library (59547284)
Julie Harby, Jessica Cassidy, Liz Mallett and Sharon Hefford in the library (59547284)
The library at the Digital Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach (59547282)
The library at the Digital Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach (59547282)
The library at the digitial centre for food manufacturing (59547286)
The library at the digitial centre for food manufacturing (59547286)
The robotic arm in action (59547274)
The robotic arm in action (59547274)
Oluseyi Moses Ajayi with the robotic carm (59547280)
Oluseyi Moses Ajayi with the robotic carm (59547280)
Senior Lecuturer Oluseyi Moses Ajayi and Oliver Horne with Tiago (59547278)
Senior Lecuturer Oluseyi Moses Ajayi and Oliver Horne with Tiago (59547278)
Students enjoy Carl Baxter's lesson (59547276)
Students enjoy Carl Baxter's lesson (59547276)

While lecuturers Charlotte Bailey and Carol Baxter were highlighting why communication is important in the supply chain using an online game.



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