SmithsonHill submits outline plans to deliver new park in Cambridge to revolutionise growing AgriTech sector globally

SmithsonHill submits outline plans to deliver new park in Cambridge to revolutionise growing AgriTech sector globally
  • Park proposed in Cambridge to facilitate AgriTech innovation globally
  • Plans will see the delivery of 1 million sqft of lettable employment space and adjacent agricultural farm land for crop trials and demonstration plots
  • New development will further cement Cambridge’s status as a global hotspot for science and technology
SmithsonHill, a joint venture between Russell Smith Farms and Hill Commercial Investment, ha submitted an outline planning application to deliver one of the UK’s most significant AgriTech parks in South Cambridge. The new park will offer more than 1 million square feet of lettable employment space and adjacent agricultural land to firms specialising in the AgriTech sector.
The new development called ARC sits within a 553 acre parcel of land and is the first major development project to be delivered by SmithsonHill. Once completed, the park will accommodate up to 4,000 employees in a high-quality parkland environment that co-exists perfectly with its natural surroundings. The development will bring together existing and entrepreneurial companies from across the AgriTech, science and technology sectors in a centre of excellence which will put the UK at the forefront of global agricultural innovation and productivity.
Emma Fletcher, Managing Director at SmithsonHill, comments: “Between 2015 and 2016, the number of hungry people globally rose by 38 million. We are facing a global food production challenge and with the population estimated to rise by a further 2 billion by 2050, it is one that demands immediate attention. In order to overcome these issues, world-changing, innovative AgriTech spaces must be established where we can share ideas and learnings and where we can compete on a global scale with other countries.
“Cambridge has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s leading destinations for technology and bioscience, but despite the regions strength in these sectors, the UK AgriTech industry has been woefully undersupplied until now. Our world-leading AgriTech park will fuse farming with science and technology, providing unmatched flexible space including laboratories, workshops, office accommodation and incubator units, as well as adjacent land critical for crop and technology trials.  Our ultimate aim is to develop a unique environment in which businesses can thrive, and where we will develop and deliver ground-breaking innovations to assist crop production and yield, minimising both input and cost and reducing global food waste.”
Sir James Paice, former Minister of Agriculture and Food, comments: “For UK farming and the food supply sector to prosper outside the EU we will need innovative solutions and technologies. The development of a park like this, where industry experts can collaborate and commercialise new technologies is therefore key. Having it near Cambridge which has long been a centre of Agricultural Research gives it added advantage. With the global population increasing rapidly, our ability to develop and export new technologies and grow more food with fewer inputs is becoming more important than ever and unless we invest in facilities such as this we cannot play our part.”
ARC will be located in South Cambridgeshire, the heart of the UK’s most productive agricultural area. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the buildings will be of high quality design and set amidst a network of foot and cycle paths and informal recreation areas. The development has been submitted for planning permission and subject to planning, construction is expected to commence in 2019 with the first units available for occupation in 2022.
Notes to Editors
About SmithsonHill
SmithsonHill, a joint venture between Russell Smith Farms and Hill Commercial Investments, seeks to develop a commercial space in Cambridge dedicated to advancing the AgriTech and associated science and technology sectors.
Through a unique combination of land, cutting edge farming, construction expertise and delivering community solutions, the partnership aims to fulfil an important role in facilitating the future success of both business and local communities, as well as to help Cambridge retain its global economic position and contribute to the region’s future prosperity.
For further information please contact Faye Holland at Cofinitive on faye.holland@cofinitive.com         Tel: 07860 863036.
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