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Breaking ground in food technology in Holbeach

There was a great celebration when ground was officially broken at the site of the
University of Lincoln’s bespoke agri-food research and development facility at the new Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) in Holbeach.

The milestone ceremony on Monday was attended by Professor Val Braybrooks MBE, Dean of Holbeach and the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth, Simon Wright of Lincolnshire County Council, Shradha Mishra of University of Lincoln and representatives from Willmott Dixon Construction.

Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Braybrooks said: “We are delighted to celebrate this milestone and look ahead to the many benefits the new Centre of Excellence will bring to businesses across Lincolnshire and beyond.”

Professor Val Braybrooks delivers her speech after breaking the ground.
Professor Val Braybrooks delivers her speech after breaking the ground.

She continued: “The agri-food sector and its supply chains are of enormous importance to the county economically, and evolving global food markets are creating unprecedented opportunities for both established and early stage businesses as suppliers of innovative new products and technologies.”

The building, which is the first on the site situated next to the A17 and A151, is designed to support agri-food businesses, with a particular focus on the food technology sector and it is hoped that completion of works will take place in early 2021. When complete, phase one of the multi-million point development will create around 16,000sq metres of new business space which will be capable of supporting over 400 jobs.

Professor Braybrooks continued: “This new facility is designed to house a community of leading industrial scientists and their support teams, working to meet the innovation, research and knowledge transfer needs of Greater Lincolnshire’s agri-food business.”

The Centre of Excellence will build on the success of the University of Lincoln’s Holbeach campus, home to the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), and will act as an innovation hub to promote the rapid uptake of advanced technologies, such as robotics and automation, while ensuring the UK’s angri-food industry remains competitive.

Professor Braybrooks added: “I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in today.

“This project has dominated four years of my life so it is great to be here and get started and I can’t wait to get the team moved in.”

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