Food Enterprise Centre to be developed in MeltonPublished Tuesday, 22nd December 2020
Melton Borough Council approved plans to establish a Food Enterprise Centre (FEC) in Melton at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 16 December 2020.
The Council’s Corporate Strategy 2020-2024 made commitments for the Council to support growth and prosperity within Melton. A key part of this was to enhance Melton’s reputation as the ‘Rural Capital of Food’; providing support to key manufacturing and tourism sectors and working to establish a new Food Enterprise Centre (FEC).
The council will work collaboratively with partners to deliver a range of FEC activities from the southern end of the Livestock Market and encourage more local businesses to utilise the space. The council have secured £100k funding from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) to deliver the actions.
Cllr Leigh Higgins, Deputy Leader of the Council, stated: “Food production and nutritional science is a key economic sector for Melton. Covid-19 has had a significant effect on many food and drink businesses. The development of a Food Enterprise Centre should offer support to local businesses in this industry, through the provision of space, advice, facilities and attracting footfall.
“The Food Enterprise Centre will allow Melton to attract and retain major events, as well as provide a space for the community and businesses to engage in food demonstration events and networking events.
“This development will help maintain and build upon Melton’s identity as ‘Rural Capital of Food’, establishing Melton as a unique and engaging place to visit, which offers immersive food experiences alongside its rich heritage.”
The FEC project will look to provide technical business support and advice to established businesses as well as new start up’s and event organisers. The plans for the centre include developing test kitchens and onsite production units which will enable businesses to run specialist activities including pop-up restaurants and food and drink making experiences.
Hugh Brown, CEO of the Livestock Market, said: “The Market has always been about bringing food from the region’s farmers to the table and this has been even more evident than ever in this extraordinary year.
“We are delighted to host the Food Enterprise Centre to build on the existing food heritage of Melton.
“This will complement & enhance on the existing farmers market and growing number of artisan food and drink producers here, alongside the popular festivals that we look forward to seeing return in 2021.”
The project is expected to run for 12 -18 months from January 2021. During this time, Melton Borough Council and Partners will work to continuously evolve FEC activities to ensure they are beneficial to the community, surrounding businesses and the wider town centre area.
Dawn Whitemore, Chief Executive and Principal of Brooksby Melton College said: “This is a significant opportunity for Melton and the college is delighted to be part of this exciting partnership. The development of the skills needed to equip our future workforce is critical and the college will work hard to ensure we have a comprehensive offer supported by all partners. Great news to finish this year on”.
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