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Regeneration (Fenland)

Volume 560: debated on Thursday 21 March 2013

14. What assessment he has made of the potential benefits of the development of a new agri-tech centre in Wisbech for regeneration in the fenland region. (149142)

We announced funding for agri-tech only this week as part of the Chancellor’s excellent Budget. I congratulate my hon. Friend on being the first to bid for some of that funding. I am sure his idea for a new agri-tech centre will be considered carefully, and we will set out our plans in our agri-tech strategy.

I welcome the additional funding announced in the Budget yesterday and pay tribute to the excellent work my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Norfolk (George Freeman) has done on this issue. Will the Minister agree to meet me and the leaders of Cambridgeshire county council and Fenland district council, given the strength of the bid for an area that is located at the heart of the farming fens, in close proximity to the talent centres of Cambridge and Norwich, and adjacent to the College of West Anglia, which is the regional lead for science and technology and is currently building a new £12 million engineering faculty?

Of course I am happy to meet my hon. Friend. I understand the significance of the wider strategy for his area. East Anglia is one of our national leaders in agri-tech and agri-science, with excellent research institutes across the area.