Telford and Wrekin Council's planning committee has granted permission for the construction of a world-leading agri-tech hub for innovation and research in Newport.

Ni-Park is set to become a science and enterprise park that will create up to 950 science jobs and provide flexible working space for science and technology firms focusing on advancing sustainable agriculture.

The initiative will be funded by Telford Land Deal and Marches Local Enterprise Partnership with the support of Harper Adams University, which is a world leader in terms of agri-technology research and development.

Furthermore, it is expected that the number of flexible spaces and science jobs hosted by the park will attract significant further investment from tech businesses, including both start-up businesses and established corporations, whilst boosting investment in the research conducted at the university.

The park will also boost supply-chain growth for a number of companies that are already working on new agricultural technologies, with Telford's advanced manufacturing sector expected to ensure this is particularly successful.

Commenting on the announcement, Councillor Lee Carter, Telford and Wrekin Council cabinet member for Economic Development, said: "Ni-Park is set to put both Telford and the UK at the forefront of high efficiency agriculture and I am delighted that it has now received planning approval.

“It will serve to bring together agricultural and technical companies where industry experts can collaborate on and commercialise new technologies."

Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University, Dr David Llewellyn, added: "Telford has already been identified as a high potential opportunity for agri-technology investment by the Department for International Trade, and we are working with companies in the UK and overseas to encourage them to consider Ni-Park as a location for their business."

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