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11 July, 2013 - 09:21 By News Desk

500 jobs in new agri technology initiative

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

A new agricultural technology initiative for North Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk was unveiled today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. It is designed to create hundreds of new jobs and a significant number of fresh businesses.

The Government is pumping £3.3 million into supporting development of the agri-tech industry in these local regions, Clegg has revealed.

The Eastern England Agri-Tech Growth Initiative will receive the funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund following a bid submitted by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership in conjunction with New Anglia LEP.

The initiative will bring together leading agriculture, research, science and technology assets in the East of England and strengthen a nationally significant, vibrant new cluster that brings a truly global reach and impetus to the emerging UK agri-tech sector. Grahame Nix, chair of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said: “As a key sector within our area, this scheme aims to deliver 500 jobs, 25 new businesses and help to secure the future success of the sector for the next 25 years. We want to ensure the future success of our area in this sector, and the funding announced today will help us to achieve this vision.” The initiative connects a wide array of existing world class capabilities in crop and food research, technology, engineering and manufacturing that already exists between Cambridge and Norwich, with the grade one agricultural land and production capabilities in Peterborough, Norfolk, the Fens and parts of Suffolk. Strengthening an already significant cluster, this initiative will help the agri-tech sector to evolve for future success and growth.

The relevant LEPs will now work with Government to finalise the funding agreement and carry out due diligence work. As soon as this is created the team will officially launch the new scheme.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

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