Truss’s £50k grants to create 3,000 food jobs

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Grants of up to £50,000 will be given to food and drink firms to grow
Grants of up to £50,000 will be given to food and drink firms to grow

Related tags: Economics, Livestock, Sustainability

Cash injections of up to £50,000 will be given to small food and drink firms, following the creation of six new Food Enterprise Zones by the environment secretary Elizabeth Truss.

The annual value of the UK’s £100bn food and farming industry will receive a significant boost from the creation of the new Food Enterprise Zones, according to Truss.

More than 3,000 jobs and hundreds of new food and drink businesses will be created as a result of the six zones (see panel below), which will be developed across the UK in the coming months.

Successful bidders

Grants will be awarded to successful bidders, who may be starting a new food or drink business or expanding an existing one, she said.

 “Food and farming is at the heart of our long-term economic plan and vital to securing Britain’s economic future,” ​Truss added.

“This latest round of successful Food Enterprise Zones will help unlock the potential of local food and farming businesses by forging closer links between farmers, manufacturers, retailers and researchers.”

A total of 17 Food Enterprise Zones will be operational in the UK once Truss’s newly announced zones are active, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Jimmy Doherty

The existing zones are already home to well-known produce, such as tomatoes grown in the Vale of Evesham and rare breed meat from cattle grazed on the farm of the television presenter Jimmy Doherty.

 “The Food Enterprise Zones are locally designed to meet the needs of local food and drink economies,” ​said Truss.

“Consumers both here and abroad want to buy great British food and drink. These zones will ensure our entrepreneurs can put great ideas into practice, meet that growing demand and expand this fantastic industry.”

Six new Food Enterprise Zones:

  • Bedfordshire​ – 2,000 new jobs will be created and up to 30 new businesses by 2020 in a new ‘food and drink cluster’.
  • Suffolk​ – A new business and logistics park will support the creation of a new food economy and create an estimated 560 new jobs.
  • Norfolk​ – A food production, research and education business will be developed. The Norwich livestock market could also move to the new site.
  • Babergh​ – A new food ‘cluster’ will be developed around: the Suffolk Food Hall; the East of England Co-operative Society; and Jimmy’s Farm.
  • Somerset​ – Test kitchens, a food-grade incubator space for businesses and a learning centre will be housed in a new West Food and Drink Innovation Centre.
  • York​ – Training facilities for the food and farming sector will be built. The Malton’s livestock market will also be relocated to a new facility.

Related topics: Ambient foods

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