Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 6°C

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.

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.

1 comment

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

    Report this comment

    David White

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

Police are searching for a man in a car who approached a nine-year-old girl in Stowmarket.

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre first opened on October 1, 1992 - a modern, glass fronted shopping centre with a green-theme.

More details have been unveiled for this year’s Raising the Bar Awards – with people across Suffolk being urged to get involved to celebrate those striving for excellence in education.

Emergency services have been called to a stabbing incident in Mersea Road, Colchester this evening.

A leisure centre has reopened today following a closure of more than two months due to the discovery of the Legionella bacteria.

Parents have criticised the decision of an Ipswich school to go-ahead with a trip to a theme park despite the threat of an amber weather warning after claims a tree fell onto a slide the children were playing on.

Ipswich’s first drive-through Starbucks will open tomorrow with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony by mayor Roger Fern.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24