Over 20 organisations and businesses from across the county and further afield made their way to Holbeach to learn more about opportunities to be part of the Peppermint Park Food Enterprise Zone and new residential developments.
The event, which took place at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, included updates from Lincolnshire County Council, Kier Services, South Holland District Council and the University of Lincoln.
Coun Colin Davie, LIncolnshire County Council executive member for economy and place, said: “Agri-food and food manufacturing are of enormous importance to the county.
“In fact, the food sector is our third biggest sector and contributes £2.5billion every year to the area’s economy. By developing land for the food enterprise zone, we want to support existing businesses, while also attracting those interested in investing and relocating to the county.”
The FEZ will be located next to the A17 and A151 and is designed to support agri-food businesses, with a particular focus on the food technology sector.
When complete, phase one of the multi-million pound development will create around 16,000sq m of new business space, capable of supporting over 400 jobs. The University of Lincoln already has outline planning consent to move part of its existing Holbeach campus to a new, purpose-built facility within the FEZ.
Coun Davie added: “Following the opening of the new Peppermint roundabouts in Holbeach, we’re continuing to make steady progress towards building the new Peppermint Park Food Enterprise Zone, which will create new employment space for the agri-food sector in South Lincolnshire.
“Design work for the business park’s utilities is underway, and the hope is that, once the University of Lincoln is granted full planning permission for its new Food Centre of Excellence, construction will start by the end of this year.”
In addition to the new business park, the county council is also promoting major residential growth on land adjacent to the Food Enterprise Zone, with up to 650 new homes expected to be built to the east of the A151.
SHDC deputy leader Coun Nick Worth said: “So soon after the successful build of the new Peppermint Junction roundabouts, I am delighted that we are keeping our foot to the pedal with the launch of phase one of the Food Enterprise Zone and look forward to seeing the University of Lincoln take pride of place on it, leading the way to further investment on the site.
“It is the key to unlocking the larger project, complementing the housing opportunities on the opposite side of the road and further down the line opening up the whole FEZ site, bringing in much needed investment and highly skilled jobs to Holbeach. This is the largest investment in South Holland for many years and the result of excellent partnership working and joint investment from South Holland District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.”