Infrastructure work has begun at Eden Camp in Malton, north Yorkshire. In addition to roads and utilities, the project involved the relocation of the local livestock market to act as an anchor for a business park for food and agriculture companies.
The scheme is being developed by Commercial Development Projects (CDP), with backing from the district council and support from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, which has provided a £2.1M grant for the project.
Charles Vyvyan, development manager for the project and CDP representative, said it was hoped the business park would attract businesses associated with the livestock market as well as high quality food manufacturers and processors.
Fast tracking planning
Although it is called a Food Enterprise Zone, it is not able to offer the financial incentives that a full enterprise zone can. However, planning applications for food businesses can be fast-tracked in the zone.
Vyvyan said: “If a food manufacturer comes to us, as long as we build in line with the design guide, we can crack on immediately, because it is exempt from planning.”
If food businesses were seeking to start building after the infrastructure is completed in the summer, he suggested the first could be up and running by early next year.
He added: “At the moment we are very flexible. We can accommodate anyone from [465m2] upwards. We have plenty of space.”
‘A key landmark’
Speaking as the development work began, Vyvyan said: “This heralds a key landmark for this project. It’s great news that infrastructure work has started.
“We look forward to working with the directors of the livestock market to deliver the final piece of the funding package to allow us to help deliver a livestock market. It is a major vote of confidence and investment in Malton and we hope it will be the catalyst to creating a successful Food Enterprise Zone.”
Councillor Linda Cowling, leader of Ryedale District Council and a deputy board member for the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Ryedale Council gives a strong priority to supporting our local economy and helping businesses to thrive in our area.
“Through our planning and economic development teams we have worked closely with the developers to deliver this major opportunity to provide quality jobs for local people, including a Food Enterprise Zone and space to accommodate a new livestock market.”
Six Food Enterprise Zones
- Bedfordshire – 2,000 new jobs will be created and up to 30 new businesses by 2020 in a new ‘food and drink cluster’.
- Suffolk – A new business and logistics park will support the creation of a new food economy and create an estimated 560 new jobs.
- Norfolk – A food production, research and education business will be developed. The Norwich livestock market could also move to the new site.
- Babergh – A new food ‘cluster’ will be developed around: the Suffolk Food Hall; the East of England Co-operative Society; and Jimmy’s Farm.
- Somerset – Test kitchens, a food-grade incubator space for businesses and a learning centre will be housed in a new West Food and Drink Innovation Centre.
- York – Training facilities for the food and farming sector will be built. The Malton’s livestock market will also be relocated to a new facility.