Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Blakenham: Hundreds of jobs on the way from greenhouse project linked to incinerator

09:00 22 November 2012

Tomatoes in a huge greenhouse

Tomatoes in a huge greenhouse

Archant © 2009

A MULTI-million pound green project is set to create 180 new jobs in the wake of the construction of the new waste incinerator at Great Blakenham.

shares

Heat produced by the plant is set to be channelled to two huge greenhouses to be built beside the B1113 between Blakenham and Bramford.

These should produce about 10% of the British-grown tomatoes sold in this country.

The project will cost £30 million to set up. The owners and operators of the incinerator – or energy from waste plant as it is officially known – will spend £2 million on supplying the pipes to take the heat to the greenhouses.

The project is being promoted by a group called Sterling Suffolk headed by Michael Blakenham and supported by Cliff Matthews, regional manager of SITA UK which is building the incinerator.

As well as heating the greenhouses, the plant will also generate enough electricity to power all the homes in a town the size of Lowestoft.

Britons eat about 500,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year. At present only about 75,000 tonnes are actually grown in this country – the rest are imported, mainly from countries in southern Europe and north Africa.

The two greenhouses at Blakenham, one 500 metres by 230 metres and one 530 metres by 210 metres, would supply 7,500 tonnes a year.

A similar set-up exists at Wissington in west Norfolk where heat generated by the British Sugar factory there is used in two massive greenhouses which produce thousands of tonnes of tomatoes.

Mr Matthews said: “This would be a major boost for local employment, creating many permanent jobs.”

He said the tomatoes would be grown hydroponically – without using soil – and the technology should allow them to be produced 10 months a year.

Michael Blakenham said the scheme would be financed by a consortium of local growers. He said: “This is a very good opportunity to develop this kind of system – there is increasing demand for food produced as near home as possible and this will fit in well with that.”

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council for the greenhouses early next year, and the promoters are hoping it will be given planning permission by the middle of 2013.

If the application is successful the greenhouses could be in operation by December 2014, when the incinerator is due to come into operation.

shares

1 comment

  • Lovely story! And a great idea. Well done all those involved.

    Report this comment

    David White

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bradley Wiggins, far left, riding through Woodbridge during the first stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain spectators will get to see champion rider Sir Bradley Wiggins racing through Suffolk again when it comes to county this month.

Art on the Prom at Felixstowe last year

More than 100 artists will be exhibiting this weekend as Felixstowe stages one of its most popular events of the year.

One of the new metal art trees in bury has been damaged. St Andrew's Street South.

A metal sculpture in a central Bury St Edmunds street now resembles a dandelion blowing in the wind following an accident involving a truck.

Police at the scene of the alleged attack.

The jury in the trial of two men accused of being involved in a plot to throw acid over a 22-year-old Suffolk beautician has retired to consider its verdicts.

Police are investigating

Further instances of vehicle crime were felt in Kesgrave on Sunday night after a car window was smashed, prompting a social media appeal for those with information to come forward.

A man has died at The Port of Felixstowe.

Investigators say their inquiries into the death of a contract worker at the Port of Felixstowe could take some time to complete.

A large farming trailer carrying potatoes has overturned on the B1102 between Freckenham and Worlington.

The B1102 in Freckenham is blocked after a trailer load of potatoes overturned.

The opening of the new petanque bowls piste at the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew - Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Phillip Dunnett with parish clerk and member of the centre committee Debbi Tayler

More than 30 people turned out for the opening of a boules rink at The Riverside Centre on Saturday.

Mr Wilson

Fire crews put out a car fire in Clacton today after passers by rescued a dog from the vehicle.

Traffic chaos caused by flooding on the A143 near Bury St Edmunds.

The final summer bank holiday of the year was a wash out, causing traffic chaos in parts of Suffolk, with roads flooding and cars getting stuck.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages