Industrial scientists are moving into Holbeach's new National Centre for Food manufacturing
Industrial scientists will be the first people to use the laboratories and other facilities in the recently completed National Centre for Food Manufacturing.
This is the first building to be constructed as part of the Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone, which will be aiming to support the environment along with reducing the amount of food we import each year.
From a humble building next to the University Academy Hobeach in Park Road, this exciting project has been developed to research and innovate in the agri-food sector – while also giving the town national and international renown.
The University of Lincoln, which has release pictures of the building, is working alongside Lincolnshire County and South Holland District Councils on the FEZ project, next to Peppermint Roundabout.
One of the people who has driven the project forward is Prof Val Braybrooks, who is the dean of the National Centre for Food Manufacturing.
She said: “We have a fabulous team at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing and the University of Lincoln’s asset team have been great.
“It was one small building and a local facility serving local businesses but what we have now is a nationally recognised facility for food manufacturing.
“It is held in esteem for research and innovation and skills, with increasing international pace.
“We have a number of universities and businesses that we work with. We have international research as well as serving the sector nationally.
“In terms of where we have started and where we are now, it has put Holbeach and south Lincolnshire on the map and I am really proud.”
The National Centre of Food, which is part of the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology, will act as an innovation hub to promote advanced technologies, such as robotics and automation.
Work at the centre is aimed at helping businesses achieve the zero carbon goal along with supporting the environment, which is impacted by growth of food.
While building work has been completed, the team are now kitting out the centre and moving in the scientific equipment.
Specialist facilities including microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a high-tech test kitchen and sensory suite, break space and seminar rooms, will be readily accessible to businesses located across the Food Enterprise Zone and the wider Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.
Prof Braybrooks, who described the centre as a “fabulous facility”, said: “We are not using it for teaching yet as the students are hoped to return in September but it is starting to be used for research.”
Work has started on the Agri-Food Centre of Excellence.
Professor Andrew Hunter, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Lincoln, said: “Food Manufacturing is at the heart of the University’s research and knowledge exchange, and we are delighted to act as ‘anchor tenants’ to this critical development. Our ambition is to partner with local and global businesses to create one of the most innovative food manufacturing hubs in the world.”
Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Serving our key agri-food clusters in the heart of the UK Food Valley, this centre of excellence will provide the university-led research required to grow and evolve our South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone.
“It will strengthen its national and international connections, enabling knowledge transfer and providing direct on-site education and skills development to support the sector.
“Delivering both innovation support services and invaluable expertise via the new centre, the University will promote the rapid take-up of advanced technologies to ensure that the sector remains competitive across the food supply chain and beyond.
“The LEP is delighted to have invested £2.3m into the development of this strategically important scheme."
The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone is funded by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Lincolnshire County Council and the Midlands Engine, with South Holland District Council and the University of Lincoln partners in the scheme. A physical launch event for the building is scheduled for the autumn, subject to Government guidance at the time.