The Hub at South Lincolnshire’s newest Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) has won ‘Development Project of the Year’ at the Greater Lincolnshire Construction and Property Awards – celebrating design, concept, and regional significance.

Delivered by Lincolnshire County Council – and jointly funded by Greater Lincolnshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – the accolade affirms the importance of the build.

The Hub creates a robust case for why this particular capital investment counts for Lincolnshire, remarked Simon Morris, head judge and senior project manager at global property and construction consultancy, Gleeds.

“The project truly captures the strategic importance of the agrifood industry to Greater Lincolnshire, and as an entry it offered a project outcome that achieved and exceeded the category’s objectives.”

Also notable was the building’s nod to the county’s strong links to Holland with Core Architects modelling the build on the iconic Dutch barn. “It’s a visually appealing building and development, with a palette of materials that encapsulate and respect the architectural vernacular of this county,” he commented.

“But importantly, it aligns a sense of place and purpose which is essential in design, but often lost or overlooked.”

Located at the heart of the UK Food Valley in Lincolnshire’s South Holland District, The Hub is part of the South Lincolnshire FEZ and is a unique collaborative space specifically designed for championing and supporting the start-up and growth of agri-tech and agrifood sector SMEs.

The Hub

“This year’s entries in the category were the best we’ve had in the five plus years the awards have been running,” said Mr Morris. “The win is testament to the drive and determination of the partnerships and people that have made the South Lincolnshire FEZ a reality.”

Through the project’s partnerships, the South Lincolnshire FEZ and its innovation hub have access to a fantastic wealth of business, academic, and industry-related support. “The Hub and the FEZ tick all the boxes for start-up and growth of agricultural and food industry-related businesses,” said Tim Downing, managing director at Pygott & Crone – commercial agents for the development.

“It has access to business mentoring, funding advice and an internationally renowned R&D team. The University of Lincoln (UOL) National Centre for Food Manufacturing’s Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Technology, and Institute of Technology are on the South Lincolnshire FEZ site.”

And with links to the Lincoln Institute of Agrifood Technology (LIAT) at the UOL’s Riseholme Campus, there’s a great opportunity to collaborate within networks that share a focus of supporting and enhancing the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of food and farming.

“The award really represents the significance of The Hub and the wider South Lincolnshire FEZ,” said Mr Downing. “It’s a catalyst for further and future growth of the UK Food Valley – we’re really proud to be part of that.”

Receiving this award is a great accolade for our building, and everyone who worked on it, said Simon Wright, regeneration and portfolio manager at Lincolnshire County Council. “It wasn’t easy. The development needed to be completed in a short time frame to meet funding conditions – all against a backdrop of Covid, material shortages, and challenging ground conditions.

“However, the strength and effectiveness of the partnerships made sure it was delivered and we all see it as a testament to the collaborative ethos and intent of The Hub and the South Lincolnshire FEZ development.

“I believe it will be fundamental in raising the profile and importance of the agrifood sector and agri-tech businesses well into the future, and the whole Lincolnshire County Council team are excited to be part of that.”

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