January start for Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone's flagship building
Building work begins next month on the centre-piece for the multi-million pound Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) beside the A151 at Holbeach.
Simon Wright, the county council’s principal regeneration officer, said: “Site investigations and other preparatory works for the University of Lincoln’s Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Technology have progressed well, and the university are currently on target to begin construction of the building itself in January.
“Once completed, the centre will provide businesses with unrivalled access to world-leading expertise and facilities, strengthening Lincolnshire’s place in the national food manufacturing scene.
“The creation of the main access road to site is also progressing smoothly, and should be completed next spring. This will help unlock four further plots of land for development.
“In addition, we are working with Western Power Distribution on the power supply for the whole of the first phase of the FEZ.”
The FEZ is designed to support agri-food businesses, with a particular focus on the food technology sector.
In July, the county council said phase one of the development will create around 16,000 sq m of new busines space, capable of supporting more than 400 jobs.
Speaking then, South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth, also portfolio holder for growth and commercialisation, said: “Having a cutting-edge centre for technology in the agri-food sector will not only provide fantastic opportunities for highly skilled jobs for the region’s young people but will place Holbeach front and centre as the leading light for food manufacturing technology in the country.”
The FEZ is funded by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, the county council and the Midlands Engine, with South Holland District Council and the University of Lincoln partners in the scheme.
The new facility will provide microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a high-tech test kitchen and sensory suite, break space and seminar rooms.
It is designed to house a community of leading industrial scientists and their support teams, who will work to share knowledge on innovation and research with Greater Lincolnshire’s agri-food businesses, notably small and medium sized enterprises.
Val Braybrooks, Dean of Holbeach for the University of Lincoln, has said that growing and evolving food markets are creating unprecedented opportunities for established and early stage businesses.
She said: “The Centre of Excellence will provide these businesses with even greater access to the university’s world-leading expertise and facilities, boosting strategies for developing R&D in the agri-food sector and enabling them to invest in new technologies with confidence.”
In previous news on the FEZ
More by this authorLynne Harrison