To date, Project Helix has helped create 428 jobs and protect a further 1,749 roles throughout Wales, as well as support 257 business start-ups and 1,010 new products developed.
Delivered by Food Innovation Wales, the Welsh Government and EU-funded project allows eligible companies to have access to a range of expertise to help them grow and succeed through developing innovative new products.
Rural affairs and North Wales minister Lesley Griffiths, who visited the centre this week, said: “[The centre] has also helped businesses navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a range of support including mentoring companies through remote food safety audits and helping them capitalise on new consumer trends such as the growth of online retail.
“The Centre, alongside those in Cardiff and Ceredigion, plays an important role in supporting the sector and I am pleased Welsh Government and EU funding is helping them work with businesses here in Wales to reach their potential and be successful.”
The Centre also works with companies to manufacture products on a pilot scale to secure sales from retailers before investing in equipment. It also benefits from a sensory analysis suite and a fully equipped laboratory.
Further support for the industry
Martin Jardine, director of Agri Food at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, said plans have been made to further support the Welsh food sector with the aim to develop the Glynllifon Rural Economy Hub as part of the North Wales Growth Deal.
“It is an exciting project, which aims to boost the rural economy through a knowledge transfer centre, food grade premises and incubator units to further support innovation, business start-ups and farm diversification,” he added.
Meanwhile, in February, plans for a £21m food and drink industry hub in north east Scotland were submitted for approval by Aberdeen City Council.