AN AMBITIOUS plan for an agri-food park in Malton which would employ more than 500 people, will take a step forward today.
The North Yorkshire market town is one of 17 government-backed Food Enterprise Zones, and the only one in Yorkshire. Together these zones are expected to led to the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs in the food and farming industry.
A first summit meeting of the leaders of all the zones is due to be held this afternoon.
At the meeting, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss will say: “Food Enterprise Zones - such as the one near Malton - will unleash food entrepreneurs, bringing together researchers, farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers so they can improve productivity and spark new ideas off each other all the way along the supply chain.”
The Malton zone is earmarked for the site in Old Malton allocated for the town’s new livestock market and is due to be constructed next year.
Ryedale District Council and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership are behind the bid.
Barry Dodd, chair of the local Enterprise Partnership, said: “For Malton to become Yorkshire’s first Food Enterprise Zone is a great step forward, as the new site will provide employment and business growth opportunities in the agri-food industry.
“One of our priorities is to support our area to become a global leader in food, agri-tech and bio-renewables. The Malton hub will have close links to our world-leading work at the Food and Environment Research Agency in Sand Hutton and Stockbridge Technology Centre.”
Linda Cowling, leader of Ryedale District Council, added: “This initiative will encourage suppliers, producers, education providers and research establishments to work together across the sector in Ryedale.”