Plans for a major enterprise scheme at Hemswell Cliff should help to boost the agriculture and food industries across Lincolnshire, it has been claimed.
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured £29.45 million of government funding for a range of major projects designed to drive growth in the industries.
And one of those projects is a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) on land at Hemswell Cliff which, it is hoped, will attract new businesses, jobs and commercial activity, and even develop a sustainable residential village. It will be linked to two other FEZs, which will focus on Grimsby’s fishing industry and Holbeach’s fresh produce and food processing hub.
“Funding for three Food Enterprise Zones in Lincolnshire reflects how important the county’s food and farming sector is to the UK’s economy,” said Ben Underwood, director of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
“If managed correctly, the developments have the potential to be a catalyst for growth for the agriculture and food industries in the county. We now need to ensure they are well admninistered, with clear direction and strong partnerships between the LEP and other agencies.”
The government says FEZs free up food and farming businesses, making it simpler for them to grow. And West Lindsey District Council is already putting proposals in place to ensure the one at Hemswell Cliff is successful. It wants to create a Local Development Order (LDO) for the area, making the planning process easier for businesses aiming to expand, and has started consultation with all interested parties.
“FEZs are a great way to attract investment and to encourage closer ties between businesses to boost the food and farming sector,” said Coun Jeff Summers, leader of the council. “The LDO will also provide certainty about the types of development permitted and reduce the potential risks, encouraging investment to come forward.”