Yorkshire’s first Food Enterprise Zone confirmed in Malton

On Wednesday 25 March Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss announced six new Food Enterprise Zones (FEZ) in England, with a site near Malton being the first in Yorkshire. The bid for the FEZ was made by Ryedale District Council and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership.

The zones are designed to support existing local businesses to expand, as well as encouraging new businesses to start up in the area. For Malton, 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 livestock market will be situated alongside local food and farming-based businesses, with additional space for businesses to develop their new ideas at the nearby National Agri-Food Innovation Campus. Barry Dodd, CBE, Chair of the Enterprise Partnership Board, said: “This is a great step forward for the Malton area, the new site will provide employment opportunities in the agri-food industry. One of the LEP’s key priorities is to support our area to become a global leader in food, agri-tech and biorenewables.

“The Malton Food Enterprise Zone will have close links to our world-leading work at the Food and Environment Research Agency in Sand Hutton and York’s Biorenewables Centre, which all work towards achieving that goal.”

Over 10 per cent of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding area’s economy is from the agri-tech, agri-food and biorenewables sector, collectively known as the bioeconomy, the Food Enterprise Zone will support the growth of this industry. The proposal for Yorkshire’s first FEZ was strengthened by the investments the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership have made in funding the Malton Food Park, with £2.1m of local growth fund being awarded towards highway works to open up the site for development. Defra has awarded their maximum grant of £50,000 towards the cost of creating a FEZ at the site. This status enables a local development order to be put into place which will lead to a simplified planning process, which in turn will make it easier and cheaper for food and farming businesses that want to expand.