Controlled environment agriculture in North and West Yorkshire
Companies in North and West Yorkshire are at the heart of the next agricultural revolution, using controlled environment agriculture (CEA) techniques for food production.
An opportunity exists to invest alongside a group of growing Agri-tech companies in North and West Yorkshire to develop innovative farming techniques that will transform food security and the circular economy.
North and West Yorkshire
Foreign direct investment
Sector and market opportunity
CEA is an intensive, technology-based approach to food production. It aims to protect and maintain optimal growing conditions throughout the development of crops to produce profitable, year-round harvests.
Approaches to CEA vary, from using basic biosecurity with minimal intervention, through to embracing fully managed and contained grow spaces in an enclosed growing structure (such as a greenhouse).
This is a great opportunity for investors because of the relevant infrastructure in North and West Yorkshire and a growing market opportunity.
The UK is implementing growing methods such as hydroponics and indoor farming, meaning crops and plants can be grown on a large scale. The UK has more indoor farms than any other European country and Yorkshire has great expertise and strengths in agricultural production systems.
Market demand for CEA is strong in the UK due to the high population density, high GDP per capita and significant segment of consumers who will pay for added-value fresh foods.
This is also a question of good timing, as the UK is only 61% self-sufficient in food, a gap that could be closed by CEA.
Vertical farming is a young, exciting and rapidly growing sector with an expected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of more than 25% over the next five years. The global market opportunity is forecast to grow from £1.5 billion today to £8 billion in 2030.
Growth is driven by several factors and has a long list of benefits including tremendous sustainability.
North and West Yorkshire is a great place for CEA because of its wide variety of plants and insects. The innovative local farming techniques and the circular economy only strengthens the opportunity.
The area has a growing Agri-tech industry and that has encouraged the largest concentration of projects, start-ups and technology companies in Europe. Investors here can collaborate with more than 700 food production companies, 13,000 farms and 25,000 workers.
The region provides direct access to locations worldwide through Leeds Bradford Airport.
The area is also well connected through the local and national road network (M1, A1(M) and M62), major ports such as Hull and Grimsby, plus excellent rail links across the Pennines and to London.
Access to Humber Freeport is available to investors, which is a hub for global trade and investment, with tax incentives and customs support.
Local talent and skills
North and West Yorkshire features:
- 5 world-class universities with highly trained graduates
- 7 dedicated research organisations devoted to agriculture
- 25,000 employees in agriculture in North and West Yorkshire
Research and expertise
The region has an abundance of accomplished research facilities, including the:
- Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) Agri-tech Innovation Centre (funded by Innovate UK)
- Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI)
- National Pig Centre
- Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC)
- York BioTech Campus
North of England
The North of England is recognised as a global centre for creativity and design and attracts thriving international investment. This heritage of expertise and manufacturing know-how is well established on the world stage, and historically gave birth to the Industrial Revolution.
Enabling clean growth
The demand for CEA is driven by the UK’s clean growth strategy and a government commitment for net zero carbon agriculture by 2050.
Agri-tech innovation, alongside controlled environment techniques, will play a key role in lowering carbon emissions by reducing ‘food miles’ and contributing to the circular economy.
Local and national government support
The agricultural transition period started in January 2021. Between 2021 and 2027, the UK government will gradually reduce and then stop untargeted Direct Payments, using the money to support agriculture in different ways.
The government will pay farmers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions.
Three levels of support will pay for sustainable farming practices, creating habitats for nature recovery and making landscape-scale change such as establishing new woodland and other ecosystem services.
For 25 years Fera Science has operated out of the Sand Hutton estate in Yorkshire and now shares the site with other bio and life science businesses on the York Biotech Campus.
Fera pioneers new diagnostic approaches and analytical science, driving ingenious products and techniques. Research collaboration with industry and other partner centres of excellence leverages its expertise in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, ecology, social and data science.
P3P Food Technology Park
P3P develops, operates and maintain its own and third-party sites in UK energy, waste and vertical farming sectors. These provide design and build expertise with 100% financing of construction costs.
The company developed a site in Selby to expand its glasshouse and energy supply portfolio, while also providing a springboard for its vertical farming and other Agri-tech plans.
Sustainable aquaculture in Dorset
Sustainable aquaculture is making huge waves in the global food sector and Dorset companies are in a prime position to exploit this growing market through aquaculture technologies.
Food processing automation in Greater Lincolnshire
Industrial robotics, digitalisation and automation support decarbonisation of the agri-food sector by optimising energy efficiency and recovery; Greater Lincolnshire companies are well placed to make it happen.
Precision agriculture in Telford
Precision farming will play a key role in the sustainable transformation of the global agricultural sector and Telford provides an ideal access point to this innovation-led opportunity.
Plant-based and alternative protein products in the North East
The UK and the North East of England is leading the way when it comes to developing environmentally friendly and sustainable plant-based and alternative protein products.
Innovation in Animal Health in Surrey and Hampshire
The UK and the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are striving to reduce the global environmental impact of animal products.
Sustainable farming systems in Telford and Wrekin
Sustainable farming will play a major role in the transformation of the agricultural sector, with Telford and Wrekin offering an ideal location for investors.
Plant science for nutrition in Norfolk and Suffolk
Innovative companies in Norfolk and Suffolk are using plant science and genomics to improve sustainable food production and enhance the nutritional value of food.
Speak to us
The government is identifying new projects across the whole of the UK. Investors who are interested in our projects can find out more by contacting us.Get in touch