Melton Borough Council

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Melton to Secure Major Economic Growth Opportunity

Published Thursday, 19th February 2015

Melton Borough Council has been selected as a national leader of one of the Government’s flagship initiatives for economic growth.

Melton Borough is one of only 11 bids that have progressed to the final stage of selection as a ‘pathfinder’ for a Local Development Order (LDO) on which a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) can then be based . The LDO will make the planning process simpler and easier for food and farming businesses that want to invest and expand.

A key focus of the LDO will be to improve the food chain, linking the farmers at the beginning of the food chain, manufacturers who produce the food, distribution partners who deliver it, retail outlets, businesses/establishments who sell it and customers who benefit from the high quality food products.

Cllr Joe Orson said:

“This is a hugely exciting opportunity for the Borough. This initiative will enable us to encourage growth in a major part of our local economy as well as contributing to the sustainability of our rural areas, attracting jobs and economic activity, supporting farmers that wish to diversify and entrepreneurs who wish to set up new businesses, as well as aiding the more established and significant businesses who are already based in Melton Borough.

The LDO will provide incentives to improve skills and training opportunities, provide apprenticeships and create new jobs, and the Council will work with businesses and partners to facilitate these activities. It will also improve the areas ‘leverage’ capability in terms of allowing Melton Borough to secure Food Enterprise Zone status, opening up new opportunities for external investment and funding opportunities through the national Food and Farming Productivity Scheme (FFPS), and the Rural Growth Fund (EAFRD), which specifically identifies food and drink as a priority sector for the rural areas.

We would anticipate grant opportunities through the Business Gateway model would be promoted to businesses working in the FEZ area and the key needs of the sector will be identified as part of the LLEP’s Food and Drink Sector Growth Plan which is currently being put together.”

Further information on LDO’s and FEZ’s is available from DEFRA : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/food-enterprise-zones-created-to-drive-growth

For more information please contact:

J Worley

Head of Regulatory Services

Melton Borough Council

01664 502359

jworley@melton.gov.uk

Food and Drink Businesses who wish to have more information please contact:

M Ramshaw

Economic Development Officer

Melton Borough Council

mramshaw@melton.gov.uk