MP to meet minister for next stage of Agri-Tech Centre talks

Local MP Steve Barclay is to meet with the minister for Business, Innovation and Skills to discuss the next phase of the bid to secure government funding for a state of the art Agri-Tech centre in the Fens.

Raising the issue in parliament Steve welcomed the chancellor’s budget announcement that £1.6bln is being set aside for key sectors such as the Life sciences and Agri-Tech industries.

In his parliamentary question to David Willets, Minister for Universities and Science, Steve set out the business case for locating an Agri-Tech centre on the Nene waterfront in Wisbech.

Mr Barclay said: “I am very glad the Minister confirmed our bid is the first one to be received, and that he recognised the strong case made for an Agri-tech centre in Wisbech.

“It is great news that our bid potentially stands to be the first Agri-Tech project to benefit from the £1.6bln funding earmarked for key domestic industries in this year’s budget.

An Agri-Tech centre would provide a major boost to Fenland’s status as a centre for research and development in agricultural science and technology and would bring valuable jobs and business to the local economy.

I look forward to working with the Minister and George Freeman MP, the prime minister’s advisor on life sciences, to draw up a comprehensive case for bringing funding for this state of the art facility into the Fens.”

The meeting will bring Steve and Mr Willets together with the leader of Cambridgeshire County Council Cllr Nick Clarke and Leader of Fenland District Council Cllr Alan Melton, both of whom back the bid, and is due to take place in late May.