The scheme, launched in 2015 by Scotland’s cabinet secretary for food Richard Lochhead, awarded 13 food and drink manufacturers a total of £3.5M in grants in 2017.
The potato producer has been awarded the grant to help it diversify into the growing convenience and chilled potato market, creating 35 new jobs.
The £4M award will contribute to a £17M investment in building a major extension and the installation of new processing equipment to facilitate the introduction of the new ranges, primarily chilled potato products.
Supply chain support
The support will benefit the entire supply chain, including the many Scottish growers who supply the company exclusively.
The grant was announced during a visit by rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing to Bartlett’s plant in Airdrie. He praised Scotland’s food and drink sector as being “internationally renowned” and worth around £14bn to the economy each year, accounting for a fifth of manufacturing jobs.
“There are around 18,850 food and drink businesses in Scotland, employing approximately 115,400 people,” said Ewing.
“This award will help Albert Bartlett diversify their products, move into new markets, create new jobs and safeguard existing posts. Today’s £4M announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to helping food and drink companies, large and small, take their businesses to the next level while building on our reputation as a land of food and drink.”
Mark Murray, md of Albert Bartlett, said the company was grateful for the grant from the Scottish government to help the company diversify.
“Our development into this exciting new area will create 35 new jobs and safeguard 50 more here in Airdrie, in addition to providing security for our partners working in the entire supply chain, not least our dedicated group of potato growers,” he said.
“When the plant is operational, it will process 50,000t of potatoes per year, around 90% of which will be grown in Scotland.”