North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) submitted a bid for £14M to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in June. If the funds are granted, private businesses have pledged to back the scheme with an investment of £61M.
The bid has been shortlisted in the first round of approval and the final decision will be made in the autumn.
Damien Jaines-White, head of economic development at NELC, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We’ve been shortlisted, so now we’re getting ready to show them what we can deliver.”
BIS will now liaise with NELC to seek further clarification on the content of the application. This will inform the final decision, which Jaines-White estimated will be announced in November.
“We’re keeping the activity ramped up and we’ve got our systems in place ready for their appraisal. If the project is approved we'll get a conditional offer,” said Jaines-White. “Then we’ll be putting the project out to business.
Jobs for 2013
If the bid is approved, the funding will arrive early in 2013 and jobs can start to be created.
“We’ve listened to the industry,” said Jaines-White. “Food manufacturing is a key sector for us, directly employing 4,500 staff locally, excluding the wider supply chain.
“We’re seeing a lot of consolidation in the industry, so we want to ensure we remain at the forefront of seafood manufacturing and see our sector grow rather than decline."
Jaines-White believes the bid’s close links with private business will work in its favour.
“There’s an absolute government mandate about private-sector-led growth,” said Jaines-White.
“We’re proud of our links with private business and we want to capitalise on the food manufacturing industry.”
To read more about Grimsby’s plan to boost the local seafood industry, click here.