Alicia Kearns says the move would make sense because of the area’s reputation for food excellence and its strong traditions in agriculture.
The government has pledged to move 22,000 civil servants out of London by the end of 2030 and currently only five per cent of them work in the East Midlands, the lowest proportion for any area of the country.
Mrs Kearns said: “Melton is the agricultural backbone of our country, and I am determined to generate jobs and prosperity to level up and bring more opportunity to our wonderful town.
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“A DEFRA office in Melton is right for our communities, right for our farmers, right for our food and drink producers and, right for our country.”
Borough council leader, Councillor Joe Orson, welcomed the initiative, commenting: “Moving a DEFRA office to Melton would fit well given the area’s agricultural industry, cattle market and being the Rural Capital of Food.
“Certainly it would help bring employment, prosperity and growth to Melton borough and in particular help regenerate Melton town centre following the Coronavirus pandemic.”