Perth and Kinross Council’s policy committee approved the development of the Perth Food and Drink Park at North Muirton, which was expected to cover 9ha. The industrial and business space was expected to total about 27,870m2.
About seven food and drink businesses will be located at the site initially, creating up to 36 jobs during construction.
It is hoped the project will kick start the local economy, said councillor John Kellas.
‘Very significant for the economy’
“First, it’s very good for the businesses themselves,” Kellas told Scottish TV News. “It gives them an opportunity to expand to come into Perth and Kinross perhaps. But it creates also the opportunity to bring up to 400 new jobs in Perth and that in itself is a very significant for the economy.”
Food and drink businesses in the area had seen significant growth over recent years, he added. “Our food and drink is seen as one of the premier attractions for Perth and Kinross.
“It's a high calibre food and drink offering. We hope to expand on that and by giving a centre of excellence in Muirton, this is an opportunity to consolidate on that.”
Planners hope the scheme will attract both large- and small-scale food and drink manufacturers to the areas.
Project managers are applying for funding to the Scottish government and EU. A decision on an application for £1.85M of funding from the Scottish government’s regeneration capital grant scheme will be announced in December.
Speaking before the council granted planning approval, councillor Ian Miller, convener of the policy committee, said: “The council is committed to supporting our local economy in ways that progress our ambitions for Perth as a city and benefit our smaller communities across Perth and Kinross.
Investing in developing key business sectors is vital. These proposals bring potential economic benefit across the area. I look forward to considering them at committee.”
Tourism and hospitality, food and drink
The plans aim to build on existing strengths and opportunities in key sectors such as tourism and hospitality, food and drink and renewable clean technologies.
The turnover of food and drink businesses in the sector was estimated at about £280M a year, with more than 120 manufacturing firms operating in the area.
Earlier this month a report from the Bank of Scotland predicted that up to 5,600 new roles would be created in the Scottish food and drink industry by 2018.
Alasdair Gardner, md of commercial banking at Bank of Scotland, said: “The reality is if this new level of growth continues we will see levels of growth in the food and drink industry that could soon be alongside oil and gas on the export market.”
Meanwhile, view the 1,155 food and drink manufacturing roles posted on Foodmanjobs here.