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GrowUp Urban Farms gets nod to begin construction on aquaponic farm in UK

FBR Staff Writer Published 17 April 2015

GrowUp Urban Farms has received consent to begin construction on a aquaponic farm for sustainable, ethical food production in the UK.

GrowUp Urban Farms

This comes after the company received planning permission from the London Borough of Newham this week.

The aquaponic farm, said to become the country's first of its type, will employ aquaculture and hydroponic technology to produce more than 20,000kg of sustainable salads and herbs and 4,000kg of fish annually. In this technology, growing plants are placed in a nutrient solution without soil in a recirculating system.

The waste water from fish tanks is pumped through hydroponic growing beds where salad plants absorb waste nutrients from the water and clean the water for the fish as the system continually recirculates.

Located inside an industrial warehouse, the farm will harvest salads and herbs throughout the year using specialist horticultural LED lighting designed and manufactured by Philips.

The farm will also produce tilapia, a fish used in many different cuisines and the majority of the produce from the farm will be sold to local restaurants. The first harvests in the farm are scheduled for September this year.

Commenting on the development, GrowUp Urban Farms CEO and co-founder Kate Hofman said: "This farm will be a flagship for innovative urban farming, putting food and feeding people at the heart of the development of London as a smarter and more sustainable city."

In September 2014, GrowUp secured over £1.1m in its first investment round to support the development of this project. Over 65% of this investment was provided by Ignite Social Enterprise, backed by Centrica.

GrowUp Urban Farms has also secured funding from InnovateUK through the Agri-Tech Catalyst fund and is part of the Climate-KIC accelerator.


Image: The aquaponic farm will employ aquaculture and hydroponic technology to produce more than 20,000kg of sustainable salads and herbs. Photo: courtesy of ponsulak / freedigitalphotos.