Bid for new national Agri-tech centre in Wisbech launched by MP Steve Barclay

MP Steve Barclay.

MP Steve Barclay. - Credit: Archant

A BID to create a new national agric-tech centre on the Nene waterfront in Wisbech has been launched by North East Cambs MP Steve Barclay, following high level discussions with the government.

The centre - which could form a key part in the Wisbech 2020 Vision - would provide cutting edge scientific research into the next generation farming techniques.

The MP revealed this week there have been talks with the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Life Sciences, Norfolk MP George Freeman, to discuss the bid for Wisbech.

The bid, backed by Cambridgeshire County Council and Fenland District Council, is the first application of its kind to be submitted to government. County Council Leader Cllr Nick Clarke and Fenland District Council Leader, co-signed a joint letter with Mr Barclay setting out their case to Ministers.

Mr Barclay said: “An agri-tech centre would be an ideal anchor tenant for the Wisbech 2020 regeneration scheme. It would fit well with the new £12 million engineering faculty at the College of West Anglia Wisbech campus, take advantage of our location at the heart of the Fens farming region, and be in close proximity to the existing life science centres of Norwich and Cambridge.

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“ It is the perfect location for scientists to be based when conducting field trials, and farmers locally are already working innovatively through new GPS farm tracking and drilling and soil moisture techniques”.

Mr Barclay is due to meet with officials in the Business Innovation and Skills Department to discuss the next steps.

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A letter from Mr Barclay, and council leaders, Cllr Clarke and Cllr Melton, told the government advisor that a brown field site adjacent to Wisbech Port would be a suitable location for the centre.

They said Wisbech would provide “an ideal location” for an agri-tech centre and called on a the government to carry out a feasibility study.

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