YORK could become a global leader in food manufacturing, agri-tech and biorenewables industries, an MP has claimed.

Speaking in the Commons, Tory York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has called on the Government to recognise the city’s huge potential in these areas.

He said Science Minister David Willets had responded by raising hopes of York receiving large amounts of government funding to become an international leader in life sciences.

The Minister said: “There is a lot of interest in our new centres for agricultural innovation. We expect to announce the bidding process for the first one in the spring and we will consult on themes for the other centres.”

Mr Sturdy he had first highlighted the region’s potential as a centre for excellence in agriculture back in 2010, when he raised the matter in Parliament and met with the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman MP, to discuss his proposals.

“A similar scheme was established in Montpellier in France which has since grown into an internationally recognised hub for food science and biodiversity,” he said.

“In Britain, we often take our exceptional farm produce for granted and with the extraordinary range of research facilities, laboratories and industry expertise on our doorstep, we really do have the potential to lead the world in state of the art agri-technology.

“There is still a long way to go, however, and I will be lobbying hard for York and North Yorkshire to be considered as a future centre of agricultural innovation.

“I will be meeting with the area’s Local Enterprise Partnership to discuss how best to progress our case and will be corresponding with the Minister shortly.”