February 12, 2015 4.27 pm This story is over 110 months old

Food Enterprise Zone to drive farming growth in Lincoln

First pilot: Lincolnshire Showground will have one of the first Food Enterprise Zones in the country to help boost the farming economy.

The Lincolnshire Showground is one of the first three projects in the county to secure funding for a pilot Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ).

Some 11 new zones will be created across England to make it easier for farming businesses to grow, and bring new jobs and opportunities to boost the local economy.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are offering grants of up to £50,000 to set up the projects.

Based around Local Development Orders, and in line with local priorities, they will make the planning process simpler and easier for food and farming businesses that want to expand.

The pilot schemes will allow local people to decide what kinds of businesses should be in their FEZ, and where it should be located.

The Lincolnshire Agricultural Showground and Helmswell Cliff Business Park have together been allocated funding to build a food enterprise zone to grow local food businesses. A partnership with Bishop Burton College will also see support training, research and technology development opportunities.

Funding will also be supplied to create FEZs in Europarc business park in Grimsby and The National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “Food Enterprise Zones will help unlock the potential of local food and farming businesses, boosting local economies and attracting more investment.

“Consumers both here and abroad want to buy Great British food. These zones will ensure we can grow more top quality produce and expand our food industry, which is worth more than £100 billion a year to the UK economy – more than cars and aerospace combined.

“Food and farming is at the heart of our long-term economic plan and vital to securing Britain’s economic future.”