The FDF cuts the ribbon on Food Enterprise Zone to boost innovation
22 September 2022
Jayne Almond, Director of Policy and Corporate Affairs and Mark Corbett, Innovation, Employment and Skills Manager visited our academic affiliate member, The University of Lincoln to see their amazing new facilities at Holbeach Campus.
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The National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), part of University of Lincoln, has worked with local government leaders, businesses and its Local Enterprise Partnership to create a unique hub of support for the food and drink industry.
The new South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone (SLFEZ) at Holbeach Campus offers holistic support and expertise across business growth, automation, reformulation and sustainability. Whether it’s the challenge of reformulating for healthier options, optimising production to mitigate labour shortages or simply finding suitable space to start or grow a food business – the SFLEZ has the people and facilities to help.
Skills are high on the agenda too. Co-located with the research and the business units are the apprentices and students who will be the industry’s future workforce. They learn alongside professionals in the industry due to the University’s superb relationship with food and drink businesses, including FDF members Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Nestle and Princes. The University also leads an academy trust of five local schools who are lucky to get regular and immersive experiences of the great careers available in food.
Jayne was invited to cut the ribbon and officially open the Centre of Excellence in Agri-Food Technologies. an innovation centre with labs, test kitchen, sensory suite, teaching rooms. The centre provides facilities to support teaching and research in the food sciences and technologies.
The FDF is hugely grateful to Val Braybrooks, Dean of NCFM for inviting us to the launch and for giving us the opportunity to support this brilliant initiative. We are all acutely aware of the serious challenges our industry faces, but with assets like this offering vital support across the breadth of business needs, we can be prepared to meet them head on.