Big spend on Scottish firms

ScotGov invests in local producers

The Buffalo Farm in Fife received £576,263 in funding for new building equipment.

SCOTTISH food and drink producers have snapped up funding as part of a scheme aimed at boosting the industry.

The Scottish Government has committed to supporting local food producers with an investment of more than £3.5m in a new grant scheme.

The new Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant is designed to allow food companies to invest in infrastructure, upgrade facilities, and purchase new equipment.

Initial grants awarded include £576,263 to The Buffalo Farm in Fife for new building equipment, and £1,389,416 for an integrated processing facility for the 2 Sisters Poultry in Perth.

Yester Farm Dairies in East Lothian also received £176,000 towards a major upgrade of their facilities, which director Jackie McCreery believes to be badly needed.

“Our long-term ambition is to double the industry’s value to £30 billion in the next 12 years.”

She said: “Having already invested in a new soft cheese factory on the family farm in 2015, our business is continuing to grow. As a result we desperately needed to upgrade our original milk processing facility on which all other aspects of the business depend.

“Without the support of the Scottish Government, we simply could not have undertaken this necessary next step in our company’s growth. It will safeguard our existing 30 jobs, will create further employment and will enable us to take on more business and maybe even move into exporting.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing welcomed the news and said: “We are doing everything we can to support Scotland’s successful food and drink industry, which continues to go from strength to strength.

“Our long-term ambition is to double the industry’s value to £30 billion in the next 12 years.”

The move follows the roll out of a £250,000 government capital investment programme aimed at supporting independent convenience retailers.

Funds from the £250,000 match-funding grant are currently making their way to retailers, following an application window which ran from 1 March to 30 April this year.

Administered by the Scottish Grocers Federation, the grant was announced by Scottish Government cabinet secretary Fergus Ewing at the SGF conference last November.

Speaking at the conference, Ewing said: “Many of our small independent and family run convenience stores are operating in a very competitive trading environment and are having to adapt and innovate to continue to meet changing consumer behaviours.”