SeedPod will be located on Scotland Rural College’s (SRUC) Craibstone campus, near Aberdeen, and is designed to provide specialist support and facilities for growing start-up, early-stage and established businesses.
Features would include 12 commercial-grade manufacturing and production incubator units and two development kitchens and full-service managed production and storage space; presentation areas; co-working and collaboration space, and demonstration space to pilot processes and technology.
The UK and Sottish governments have jointly provided £10m of capital funding via the Aberdeen City Region Deal (ACRD) – a partnership between both governments, Opportunity North East (ONE), Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council.
ONE has committed £4.4m of funding towards the delivery of SeedPod’s objectives and has set up Food Hub Limited with an industry board to deliver the project.
Patrick Machray, ONE vice chairman, said: “SeedPod will provide young businesses with essential space to grow in its production incubator units, support established companies with productivity and market development, and is a strategic asset at a critical time for national sector recovery and growth.
“This is a transformational project for realising the sector’s green growth ambition. SeedPod will increase the value of exports and the jobs that food and drink manufacturers and processors provide in rural and urban communities.”
Boost annual sector turnover
SeedPod aimed to increase sector turnover by 5% per annum and help established companies accelerate growth through innovation and technology adoption, market and product development, global consumer focus.
UK Government Minister Iain Stewart added: “SeedPod is an exciting project that will help to bring new jobs and opportunities to communities across north east Scotland.
“This is a great example of the UK and Scottish governments working together with regional partners to support innovation and growth in Scotland’s iconic food and drink sector.”
Meanwhile, plans for a Novel Food, Feed and Nutraceuticals Innovation Centre of Excellence have been ignited by a £4m investment from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority Cabinet.