OxLEP has this week announced a new Government-funded project which is set to have a major impact on the agricultural sector.
Oxford Centre for Plant Science Innovation is an interconnected centre for research and development, addressing challenges in agriculture and forestry. It is receiving £2.1m of Local Growth Fund money to establish a research centre in Oxford city centre, delivering jobs and apprenticeships for Oxfordshire and enabling the creation of spin-out companies.
The Oxford Centre for Plant Science Innovation will enable the University of Oxford to deliver at least nine full-time jobs, three apprenticeships and nine studentships, as well as the creation of at least two spin out companies.
OxLEP secured £2.1m of funding for the project via the government’s Local Growth Fund – the overall cost of the project is £4.7m.
OxLEP is one of 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England playing a key role in driving forward economic growth and – by 2021 – it’s expected that central Government will have invested over £12bn into the UK economy via the Local Growth Fund.
The Local Growth Fund investment aims to allow LEPs to use their local knowledge to promote growth in their individual regions.
Analysis has shown that for every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested, £4.81 in benefits could be generated.
Since its inception in 2011, OxLEP – with its partners – has secured over £650m-worth of government funding for Oxfordshire, which has seen more than 50,000 new jobs created in the county to-date.
In total, OxLEP currently oversees a £2.2bn growth programme for the county.
Nigel Tipple – OxLEP Chief Executive – said: “The confirmation of such a significant project – that will have a positive impact on innovation in agricultural technologies in Oxfordshire – is excellent news.
“As the local enterprise partnership for the county – we want to ensure our county benefits from an infrastructure that is fit-for-purpose, supporting dynamic economic growth.
“We are delighted to have secured such a major Local Growth Fund allocation for this project and we are sure it can be real asset to Oxfordshire, as we continue to support our growing economy for the benefit of both the county and ‘UK PLC.’”