Mushroom farm planned for Littleport could bring jobs boost

A PARTNERSHIP involving two of East Cambridgeshire’s largest agricultural businesses has announced ambitious expansion plans that could bring up to 100 new jobs the district.

A PARTNERSHIP involving two of East Cambridgeshire’s largest agricultural businesses has announced ambitious expansion plans that could bring up to 100 new jobs the district.

G’s Growers of Barway and Produce Global Solutions (PGS) of Ely have unveiled plans for a new mushroom farm and anaerobic digestion plant to be built on land near Littleport.

The project will bring about 100 jobs to the area when at full capacity and, according to the firms, will bring significant extra investment to other local businesses.

Managing Director of PGS, Mark Haynes, said: “It is really important to me that we have the opportunity to invest locally rather seek out other areas to develop the new farm and growing operation and as a locally raised and educated person I am sure this will have a positive knock-on effect for a large number of people.”

The facility is earmarked for a site at May Farm, Mildenhall Road, north east of Littleport. The proposals have been unveiled ahead of a formal planning application which is due to be submitted in February.

According to the plans, the mushroom farm will produce 60 tonnes of mushrooms every week in its early stages and up to 130 tonnes a week at full capacity, providing produce for consumers locally and regionally and helping to reduce the reliance on imported goods.

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The plans also include proposals for a 2.5 megawatt anaerobic digestion plant located near to the mushroom farm to provide renewable energy to power the facility using organic waste. Any surplus electricity generated would be fed back to the national grid to power nearby homes and businesses.

Richard Turner, mushroom project general manager, said: “The farm will create 70 new jobs in the first phase and we will be looking to employ people locally. It will be a warm and well lit working enviornment and will be a great boost for local suppliers and consumers.”

Produce Global Solutions Ltd, based in Ely recently won the Ely Standard East Cambridgeshire Small Business of the Year Award 2010 whilst G’s Growers/G’s Marketing, which employs about 2,000 people locally, picked up our Training and Development, Employer of the Year and Business of the Year awards at Ely Cathedral in October.

A public exhibition for local residents to find out more about the proposals is being held at Littleport Village Hall on Tuesday, January 18 from 3.30pm-8pm. Further details of the proposals will be on display and representatives of both companies and the development team will be available to answer questions.

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