A South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone has been granted special status by the Government to “encourage development and economic growth” across the agri-technology and food sector.

The South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) in Holbeach, South Lincolnshire, received planning approval from the South Holland District Council for contractor Stirlin to deliver over 22,000 sqft of office and industrial space.

Stirlin Innovation Park is planned to offer 12 units – a mix of two-storey hybrid office and warehouse space and versatile light industrial space, to facilitate businesses within the agri-food technology and food sectors.

The new development will reportedly support start-ups, growing businesses, large companies and international trade, bringing together researchers, students, farmers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and entrepreneurs. The Food Enterprise Zone covers an area of 17 hectares and will look to “encourage economic growth” across the agri-technology and food sector.

Mick King, head of economic infrastructure at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Lincolnshire County Council’s investment in the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone has enabled the creation of a successful business park to support the agri-tech sector in south Lincolnshire and we are delighted to work with the private sector to ensure the SLFEZ is a success.”

Sarah Louise Fairburn, Greater Lincolnshire LEP deputy chair, chair of the Food Board and owner of Imp & Maker, said: “Lincolnshire is home to one of the largest concentrations of agriculture, food manufacturing, storage, and distribution in Europe, with a strong focus on technology and innovation, making it the ideal location for this initiative.

“Stirlin’s proposals fit perfectly with the aspirations for the site, providing more options for food supply chain businesses wanting to locate here. By encouraging innovation and collaboration within the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone, we are not only supporting local businesses but also driving the future of the agri-food industry.”

James Kirby, owner of Stirlin, said: “We’re delighted to receive planning approval for Stirlin Innovation Park, and we welcome the recognition from the Government and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.

“The aim of the scheme is to encourage businesses to develop strong working relationships, share ideas, improve productivity and technology, supporting both existing agri-food businesses as well as those looking to invest and relocate.”