A massive funding programme for food and drink businesses has been launched by Scotland’s cabinet secretary for food Richard Lochhead, supported by the package.
Lochhead announced the new Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme on a visit to The Breadwinner Bakery in Edinburgh during Real Bread Week in Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.
The initiative is now open for capital-related applications and will widen to non-capital and co-operation bids later this year.
“Scotland’s £13.9bn food and drink growth sector has already rocketed since 2007,” said Lochhead. “Turnover here has shot up 21% compared to growth of 8.6% across the rest of the UK, with Scotland’s massive success fuelled by the unwavering support of the Scottish government and our agencies.
“Under the last food grants scheme the Scottish government supported 172 projects between 2007 and 2013. Our £47M investment levered in £114M private sector funding and safeguarded or created about 8,500 jobs.
“I am delighted to be launching the new scheme in Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, and to have increased funding by 50%, which will enable us to invest even more in Scottish food and drink businesses.”
The Breadwinner Bakery, established in Edinburgh in 1973, has received £20,000 in support via the food grants scheme and was last year named 2014 Bakery of the Year at the Scottish Food Awards.
“Since receiving our FPMC grant, our business has gone from strength to strength,” said Kris McVey, director of the craft bakery business.
“The funding enabled us to move into bigger premises and win new contracts, such as the deal to supply Scotmid and Patisserie Valerie – while remaining true to our values as a ‘real bread’ bakery.
“As a consequence, we have been able to take on 17 more staff, including two apprentices through our partnership with Bernardo’s. With many more opportunities available to us, the challenge now is to manage the growth.”
The Rural Development: Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF), the successor to the Skills Development Scheme, opened for applications last week. It is also part of the SRDP 2014–2020 and is worth £12M over that period.
More information, and details of how to apply, can be found on the Scottish government website.
Although the SRDP is still subject to formal EU approval, the Scottish government said it had received a letter of comfort from the European Commission.