Plans have been approved to bring the UK's largest vertical farm to Newmarket in Suffolk, with a capacity to produce over 400 tonnes of food a year.
The farm will be retrofitted into an unused warehouse and will help boost local food production, according to developers OneFarm, a sustainable food producer.
The 6,400m2 farm will grow up to 415 tonnes of food per annum to feed local people, and will be delivered in partnership with indoor agri-tech firm IGS Ltd.
Construction is scheduled to commence later this year, with both Suffolk County Council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) overseeing development.
OneFarm said the multi-million-pound investment demonstrated a commitment to agricultural innovation, which would also "complement and boost the challenged traditional agriculture sector".
This first phase of development will deliver up to 6,400m2 of growing area in nine-metre-high growth towers, making it the largest vertical farm in the UK.
A second phase is proposed to increase the growing area to 13,000m2, increasing capacity to over 1,000 tonnes of crops each year.
OneFarm said it was committed to producing crops sustainably and in an environment requiring no pesticides or herbicides, with a vision to operate up 25 indoor vertical farms in the UK.
With an emphasis on freshness and optimum quality, the new farm will grow a range of herbs and salads on-demand to avoid waste and unnecessary harvesting, with agreements already in place to supply selected retailers.
Mira Merme, CEO of OneFarm said consumers deserved locally grown, high quality food, grown without pesticides and with low water usage.
“Its levels of flexibility to grow a wider variety of produce is superior to all other competitors," she explained.
"We believe that its dedication to product innovation will bring even greater benefits to our farms as we expand in the future.
"We are excited to be at the forefront of this fast-emerging sector, which we strongly believe will play an important role in the future of food production.”
IGS CEO, David Farquhar added: “OneFarm’s consumer-centric approach to growing and distribution reflects an evolving consumer desire.
"Across the world, the focus on environmental and economic sustainability has increased dramatically in recent years, accompanied by the imperative need for food security."
The farm is expected to be fully operational in early 2023 as the first of OneFarm’s vertical farm hubs in the UK.