Could Chatteris be back again in the running for a £500,000 agri tech centre? Certainly MP Steve Barclay hopes so

11:38 28 July 2014

Steve Braclay MP with Adrian Cannard

Steve Braclay MP with Adrian Cannard

Archant

Chatteris could still get £500,000 investment in agri tech research and investment after the town lost out to Soham in an earlier round of funding.

Hopes of a Centre for Agriculture Training, Innovation and Education at Chatteris took a dive in May when the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP announced it was giving £500,000 to the Soham scheme which will create nearly 80 jobs.

But Steve Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs is now hopeful the Chatteris proposal will get a second chance.

Mr Barclay met with Andrew Cannard of LEP to discuss the possibility of his partnership awarding £500,000 of the £1.5m agri-tech funding they have recently been granted to the Chatteris scheme.

The MP was disappointed the Chatteris bid missed out to the research hub plan for Soham although he accepted it was the stronger bid.

Fenland District Council has worked with Produce World of Chatteris to develop a training and innovation scheme in Chatteris and Mr Barclay is hoping for fresh talks soon on the plans.

“It is great news that the LEP is willing to look at spending £500,000 on the Chatteris scheme from this extra funding,” said Mr Barclay.

“This area will benefit strongly from having such a development on the doorstep. It will help enable economic growth, create jobs and improve training opportunities for our young people.”

He has also written to science minister Greg Clark asking if there is an opportunity for the scheme to be funded now, rather than waiting until April next year when the money will be available.

Mark Reeve, enterprise partnership chairman, said the Fenland proposal had “great potential to support training for the developing agri-tec sector.

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