Eden, Cumbria, The Lake District – A natural choice for business

Council secures Govt funding for food and farming innovation

10 July 2015

Eden District is delighted to be one of only 17 areas in the Country to be awarded Food Enterprise Status by DEFRA.

Eden District is delighted to be one of only 17 areas in the Country to be awarded Food Enterprise Status by DEFRA. The District Council beat off strong competition from others of the UK to secure a grant of £50,000 to develop a Food Enterprise Zone in the District.

Eden District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor David Hymers MBE, said: “This opportunity is not just about Food, it applies to all those businesses which support the food supply network and farms who wish to develop or diversify. The government are keen to see more food entrepreneurs setting up and a Food Enterprise Zone is a great opportunity to work with farmers and food producers to create a local development order that will help to expand this high quality sector further in Eden and create more jobs.

“The main benefit for Eden businesses will be the creation of a local development order, this will streamline the planning process for certain types of development in a defined area, so enabling farmers, food manufactures and processors, retailers and hospitality businesses to expand their businesses more quickly and save money.”

The next steps for the Council after attending a meeting with DEFRA in London are to issue a tender document so they can we can appoint specialist consultants to take this work forward with local businesses.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “Our food and farming industry is an economic powerhouse, now worth over £100 billion a year and employing 1 in 8 people. We want to build on that so food and farming becomes a top destination for high-flying graduates, is as prestigious as medicine, as fun and stimulating as the gaming industry and as cutting-edge as London’s Tech City.

“Food Enterprise Zones 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 from farm to fork, from lab to lunch.”

Eden District Council is keen to hear development ideas from businesses which support the food supply network and farms who wish to develop or diversify. Through the use of the Local Development Order and with businesses advice and potential financial support from the Local Enterprise Zone the Council can use this opportunity to help grow businesses in Eden.

Businesses can contact the Council on 01768 817817. Food Enterprise Zones are a new Defra initiative designed to help food and farming businesses fast-track growth and new job creation by simplifying planning procedures. More information on the scheme can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/food-hubs-to-drive-rural-food-revolution