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MSP urges north-east firms to apply for 'game changing' funding scheme


By Alan Beresford

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NORTH-east food and drinks suppliers are being urged to apply for funding to help support their future growth.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam.
Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam.

The annual Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme (FPMC) enables investment across a range of projects including buildings and equipment, feasibility studies, co-operative ventures and the improvement of supply-chain efficiency.

A total of £10.2 million is available in this financial year to support initiatives that will safeguard jobs and increase efficiency within the sector.

Encouraging eligible north-east firms to apply, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam said: “Scotland’s food and drink industry is renowned the world over for its high quality, and I’m delighted that this fund is supporting innovation in our country’s fine produce.

“There are millions of pounds available of grants for eligible organisations. I strongly encourage all those who are suitable to apply for funding because this could be game changing for many businesses who utilise the money that is available.

“This scheme is one of many examples of the Scottish Government working to support businesses and grow our economy all while utilising homegrown local produce.”

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon MSP.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon MSP.

Mairi Gougeon added: “Our food and drink sector creates incredible produce that is enjoyed at home and abroad.

“The FPMC scheme has enabled some really exciting projects and I know this funding round will be no different.

“As well as encouraging innovation and co-operation, the scheme will help sustain and create jobs in our rural communities which have been particularly hard hit by the damaging impact of Brexit. It will also help new and experienced exporters move into emerging markets to ensure long-term viability.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the tragic events in Ukraine, due to Russia’s illegal invasion, have underlined the need for a strong food supply chain, with growing consumer interest in food that is produced locally to a high standard.”

Applicants to the scheme will be asked to demonstrate the benefits their project will provide to the local economy. This includes shortening supply chains, increased use of local produce and markets and benefits to the wider local economy.

Businesses will also be asked to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of fair work and outline the ways their proposed projects will contribute to net zero.

The scheme provides grant funding to businesses (or groups of businesses) within the Scottish food and drink sector to enable them to: Develop or create food processing facilities, including buildings and equipment; Market products in home and export markets; Run pilot projects and feasibility studies; To run co-operative ventures to ensure more value is retained by both farmers and growers; To improve supply-chain efficiency.


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