South Holland’s economy is reported to be “bucking the trend” with international companies moving into the area.
A Florida-based packaging company has moved into Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone – as steps are taken to highlight the transportation issues that are needed to drive further growth in the region.
A report to the District Council’s Performance Monitoring Committee this evening highlights the expansion of existing businesses, as well as the interest shown by foreign investors in the district.
Deputy council leader Nick Worth said while there were challenges, things were going well.
He said: “We’ve finally figured it out over the last four or five years to focus on what we’re really good at – food, agriculture and agri-tech – and really focus on that. .
“I think South Holland’s economy is pretty good right now. I know there is a lot of pessimism nationally, but when we talk to businesses in the region, they are doing well.
“They have a lot of challenges with the fall of Brexit and the cost of energy and the challenges with the lack of manpower.
“Some of our companies are ahead of the curve with automation or have made investments to make them more efficient.
“I would say this area is bucking the trend.”
The District Advisors Update shows:
* Two tenants, including a Florida-based packaging company, took up office space in The Hub at the Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone – which Coun Worth said was the “crown jewel”.
* Construction is well advanced for AJS Holbeach on the FEZ site with the start of construction of 13 speculative units by Stirlin Developments.
*The council’s economic development and foreign investment team helped 17 companies expand or find new premises.
*Agents have found a new location to help a Dutch business stay in the area.
*A potential foreign investor was introduced to the horticulture/food production/logistics sector in the district by officers in October.
*A “Moms” shift was introduced by two fruit packers to allow people to work during school hours.
The team also organized a two-day visit with Midlands Connect, a group that researches and develops transport projects, to highlight issues in the area.
They visited the Cross Keys Bridge at Sutton Bridge and heard business concerns about the lack of a dual carriageway on the A16 and A17.
Coun Worth, who says the district has its own transportation strategy, said, “We’re just going to keep beating the drums, so at some point someone will see that we need investment here.”