JOB prospects in Ryedale have been given a massive boost with the news that the district could be in line for 1,000 new jobs.

About 800 jobs will be created at the Government’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) site at Sand Hutton.

In addition, news is expected shortly of a further 200 jobs which will be created through the expansion of an existing high-tech engineering company in northern Ryedale, details of which have yet to be revealed.

The amount of room needed by the FERA scientists at the site has reduced as technology has advanced, said Julian Rudd, head of economy at Ryedale District Council.

He said: “This has created laboratory and office space in both existing buildings and planned new buildings within the site boundary to house private sector businesses and other agencies that specialise in bioscience and food sciences.”

Coun Linda Cowling (Con), council leader, said the prospects of the planned world-class campus facility and the hundeds of new jobs was “great news for the whole district”.

She said: “These are the type of jobs we need because many of them will be skilled and relatively highly-paid which will be of enormous benefit to our often low-wage economy.”

The value of the scheme, which is being promoted by Defra and the Local Enterprise Agency for York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding, has been put as high as £100 million, with the aim of attracting businesses from a wide area Also involved in the project are the University of York, Science City York and Ryedale District Council, said Mr Rudd.

“The scheme has enormous potential and will help to provide a stepping stone between businesses in Ryedale and the science and knowledge sectors in York,” he said.

“However, for the scheme to reach its full potential there will need to be an upgrade of the nearby junction with the A64 and the district council is working with the Highways Agency and other partners to progress this.”

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk and Malton, and chairman of the Government’s Environment, Food and Rural Life select committee, said yesterday: “One thousand jobs has to be great news for the local economy and shows how vibrant it is and how good a place it is do business in Ryedale.”