Businesses in Boston are signing up to access free business support and training that can help them to thrive in the food and fresh produce sector.

The agri-food sector underpins the economy of Boston, accounting for 29 per cent of local jobs compared to 4 per cent nationally, meaning there is strong growth potential for this sector within Boston.

This potential has led to the establishment of the Centre for Food and Fresh Produce Logistics. The centre has been funded through Boston Town Deal and offers free business support, training, networking opportunities, and access to capital grants for businesses within Boston town that are keen to develop and grow.

Set up by the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) with Boston College, the centre’s services are open to any business involved in the food chain in any way – which could include food manufacturing, food retailers, restaurants and cafes, food supplies, engineering, and professional services, amongst many other sectors.

Since the centre’s launch earlier this summer, 12 local businesses have already enrolled or are in the process of doing so and will be able to benefit from the range of services the centre offers. These services include support that can help businesses to increase productivity and profitability, and create jobs.

The businesses will also have access to a team of experts through a dedicated consultancy service. Businesses can also take part in training programmes and networking events and they could also apply for capital grants of up to £5k towards the purchase of equipment that they may need.

David Thorpe is the Programme Manager who is leading the centre’s work. He said: “We are here to support businesses in Boston to maximise their potential by providing advice, guidance, expert knowledge, and training.

“Our role is to work with businesses in the food chain – and the scope of the businesses that can access our services is not limited to those that are delivering food services. It is fantastic to see Boston businesses already signing up, which underlines the ambition that exists in our town. We’re looking forward to working with these businesses and supporting them to thrive.

“If any business is interested in finding out more about how we can help you, please do get in touch.”

Neil Kempster, Chair of the Boston Town Deal Board said: “It is fantastic to see that the centre is already making an impact with local businesses. The Centre for Food and Fresh Produce Logistics is an important Town Deal project as it will play a role in increasing skills and knowledge, creating employment, and supporting the economy of our town.”

One way that local businesses can access support is by signing up for a free online ‘Finance for Non-Financial Managers in Business’ masterclass that will be held 10.30am to 11.30am on Thursday, July 28.

The session, which will cover what owners and managers of businesses need to know about finance, is open to all businesses and their teams based in Boston.

Anyone wishing to book their place can visit or email to find out more.