An ambitious new project aimed at supporting the growth of agricultural businesses in Lincolnshire has been praised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
West Lindsey District Council launched its Food Matters project to two of Defra’s most senior officers on a recent visit to the district.
A WLDC spokesman said that the scheme will seek to create opportunities in partnership with businesses to develop skills and employment through workshops and one to one support.
Defra Director General chief operating officer Ian Trenholm said: ““Having everyone in the room ready to work together is a recipe for success.”
“The economy is still struggling but we see farming and the agricultural sector as a real growth area. We should be growing and exporting more food. The more food we generate locally the better, it’s good for jobs and it’s good for growth.”
In West Lindsey there are 3,700 agri-food businesses and 27,000 people are employed in the sector.
WLDC Head of Strategic Growth at the council Grant Lockett said: “In West Lindsey we are committing to work more closely with existing business to encourage expansion and support new start-up businesses. We can use our expertise to support them to create jobs and upskill staff to help boost our economy and reduce the government’s budget deficit.”
Meryl Ward from Uncle Henry’s Farm near Gainsborough said: “I want Defra to realise West Lindsey is a ‘can do’ area. We have got some thriving businesses and a few areas we would like some help and assistance.”
“We want businesses to achieve national success but keep their roots in Lincolnshire.”