Derby City Council’s Cabinet has decided to support the development of a new food production campus, that could bring 5,000 jobs to Derby.
SmartParc would be to create the £300 million food manufacturing and distribution park on the former Celanese site, near the city centre.
The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has allocated a provisional £12 million towards the project from the Government’s Getting Building Fund. Derby City Council are to provide up to £5.5 million in direct support.
SmartParc’s approach will bring food producers together to cluster knowledge and investment – reducing food waste, lowering carbon outputs, and increasing UK food security.
The campus would come with a shared power plant, using renewable sources and designed to reduce energy consumption, and would harness the most recent technology, such as vertical farming, to improve production and efficiency.
A central distribution facility will allow manufacturers to consolidate both recycleables and finished goods to lower food miles.
A are accountable to the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 10 March says the expansion has the potential to create up to 5,000 jobs and boost the local economy by between £250 million and £300 million over ten years.
It would transform a 112-acre brownfield, contaminated site and would support key aims from the city’s coronavirus economic recovery strategy, which is centred on creating business and investor confidence, diversifying the economy, and decarbonising.
It is also in line with the UK Industrial Strategy and aligned with the D2N2’s Recovery and Growth Strategy, which identifies drink and food manufacturing as a key investment priority for the region.
Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said: “A key part of Derby’s economic recovery is tied to instilling confidence for the world of business to make investment within our city. The delivery of a scheme of this nature and scope, that will improve our city’s resilience, will act as a great confidence boost to those businesses and investors trying to generate opportunities within the city.
“The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that as the city has a strength within the advanced manufacturing sector, our reliance upon this is a risk when external factors threaten this sector. The investment in SmartParc will support the diversification and resilience of Derby’s economy.”
The proposed SmartParc approach is hi-tech and innovative, bringing a 30 percent reduction in food waste, a step-change within the decarbonisation of the food industry, and an increase in UK food security. An innovation centre is going to be developed in the latter phases of development.