Work has officially started on a £5.4 million scheme which will improve the current A17/A151 junction in Holbeach, leading to the construction of a new Food Enterprise Zone.
As well as opening up residential land to the east of the A151, development sites to the west of the A151 will help create Peppermint Park, Holbeach: A Food Enterprise Village.
The village will include a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) and the delivery of approximately 900 new dwellings.
The FEZ will be located next to the A17 and A151 and is designed to support agri-food businesses, with a particular focus on the food technology sector.
When complete, the multi-million pound development will create around 59,000sq m of new business space, capable of supporting over 2,000 jobs. The University of Lincoln has outline planning consent to move part of its existing Holbeach campus to a new, purpose-built facility within the FEZ.
Key representatives from Lincolnshire County Council, Eurovia UK, Greater Lincolnshire LEP, South Holland District Council and the University of Lincoln joined together to officially break ground ahead of the road improvements, which will see a new three-armed roundabout installed, as well as a new four-arm roundabout on the A151.
Initial preparatory work, which included tree removal, was completed on March 6 and 7, ahead of bird nesting season.
Additional works are planned for April 3 – 7 to alter fence lines south of the A17 and clear shrubs from the ditches to the north of the A17 and a small section of New River Drain.
Funding for the project includes £2.4 million from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Growth Fund, with the remaining to come from developers and the county council.
Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways, said: “Today is a fantastic day for Holbeach, as it signifies that we are well on our way to officially starting improvement works at Peppermint Junction and creating a South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone.
“Preparatory works have already started being carried out on-site, with more planned for April. Not only that, but we’ve now identified our preferred contractor, Eurovia UK, who we are very much looking forward to working with once construction officially starts this May.
“When complete, these improvements will not only create a safer route for drivers and less traffic in the town centre, but they’ll also provide access to development land for housing and the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone.”
Coouncillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “The food sector, particularly agri-food and food manufacturing, are of enormous importance to Greater Lincolnshire – it’s our third biggest sector and contributes £2.5 billion every year to the area’s economy.
“By developing land for the South Lincolnshire FEZ, we want to support existing businesses, while also attracting those interested in investing and relocating to the county.”