The Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Technology will be the linchpin of the FEZ, delivering innovation support services, pioneering research, skills provision and knowledge exchange for agri-food businesses across Lincolnshire and beyond.
The Centre of Excellence will be the first building on the FEZ and is due for completion in 2021 (TBC).
The Centre of Excellence is funded by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLEPP), the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. It builds on the previous investment made by the GLLEP, South Holland District Council and funding partners in establishing FEZ Holbeach – also known as Peppermint Park.
Building on the success of the University of Lincoln’s Holbeach campus, home to the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), the Centre of Excellence will be an innovation hub – promoting the rapid uptake of advanced technologies such as robotics and automation and ensuring the UK’s agri-food industry remains competitive, able to overcome challenges facing the supply chain from farm to fork.
With internal space of 1360 square metres, the new facility will include microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a high-tech test kitchen and sensory suite, a learning resource centre, and seminar space. It 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 businesses, notably small and medium-sized enterprises.
The new facilities will be readily accessible to other businesses located across the Food Enterprise Zone and the wider GLLEP area, strengthening the county’s position as a key player in the agri-tech sector.
On Monday 16th March 2020, a ground breaking event was held to mark the start of construction for the Centre of Excellence in Agri-Food in Holbeach. The project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, commenced construction and ground works in January 2020 and is due for completion in early 2021.