We plan to become a global leader in food manufacturing, agri-tech and biorenewables, and with our partners are making progress in that direction.
The Bioeconomy is a catch-all term for those industries that are involved in producing food, energy and other useful materials from biological resources. Over 10 per cent of our economy comes from this sector, a higher proportion than any other LEP area. We also have double the national average of people working in research and development in the sector, around 2,800 people, a significant economic asset to capitalise on.
(Left image) The National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, which is home to Fera and two agri-food centres of excellence.
York is becoming the Cambridge of the North as a hub for innovation, research and technology and we’re making strides in the right direction. BioVale is at the heart of this ambition, by linking the different institutions to work together including FERA Science, Stockbridge Technology Centre and the Biorenewables Development Centre, and we continue to support them in their work.
Major strides forward have also been made with the establishment of Yorkshire’s first Food Enterprise Zone in Malton, and with major investments in the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus at Sand Hutton.
You can see all our ambitions for 2021 by clicking our Strategic Economic Plan Update
For our current progress see our Annual Report
Learn about our Bioeconomy Development Officer Dr Gesa Reiss
Read her blog on What the Bioeconomy is all About
Bioeconomy Growth Fund
The second round of our Bioeconomy Growth Fund is now open for applications. You can read more about what this involves and eligibility here.
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The National Agrifood Innovation Campus
There has been a £2.7 million investment through the LEP’s Growing Places invstment to the FERA Science site at Sand Hutton, near York. This is part of a larger investment, which in total is over £17 million. The aim of this investment is to bolster the site’s reputation as a national and global exemplar in agrifood and agri-tech innovation. The money has gone into enhancing visitors’ experiences when they visit the site through refurbishment.
As well as this, the LEP has supported two bids by the National Agrifood Innovation Campus for innovations in crop health and livestock. These bids could lead to the National Agrifood Innovation Campus becoming a Centre of Excellence in Crop Health as well as becoming a Centre of Excellence in Livestock innovation.
Yorkshire’s first Food Enterprise Zone
Food Enterprise Zones are designed to support existing local businesses to expand, as well as encouraging new businesses to start up in the area. For Malton, which was awarded the status in March 2015, this means a new agri-food park will be created which will employ over 500 people. The plans also include relocating Malton’s livestock market to a purpose-built facility. The Food Enterprise Zone will have close links to our world-leading work at the FERA Science in Sand Hutton and York’s Biorenewable Development Centre. The LEP will be investing in local roads and junctions around the agri-food park, which will enable the developments to go ahead.
This status, which was awarded by Defra enables a local development order to be put into place, this means that the zone will have a simplified planning process, which in turn will make it easier and cheaper for food and farming businesses that want to expand.
Download info pack
Skills investments (now closed)
As part of the Skills Support for the Workforce programme and our Local Response Fund we provided local people with the skills that will meet the needs of this sector.
Bishop Burton College provided courses on precision farming, updating arable farmers with the latest information on using the technology available to maximise the yield of crops.
The Biorenewables Development Centre provided courses on how business waste from natural waste could be a valuable bi-product, if treated in the right way.