Moray businesses urged to apply for food and drink sector funding
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BUSINESSES in Moray's food and drink sector are being urged to apply for funding to help sustain and create jobs.
Applications have opened for a new round of funding to support producers and suppliers in the industry to invest in future growth.
The annual Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation Grant Scheme (FPMC) offers start-up grants for new firms and development grants for existing businesses in the sector.
It enables investment in buildings and equipment, feasibility studies, co-operative ventures and to improve supply-chain efficiency.
A total of £7.3 million is available in this financial year to support initiatives that will safeguard jobs and increase sector efficiency.
Applicants will be asked to demonstrate the benefits their project will provide to the local economy, which 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 fair work principles and outline how their proposed projects will contribute to achieving net zero.
Moray’s SNP MSP, Richard Lochhead, said: "Moray’s food and drink sector is the backbone of our local economy and produces for local, national and international markets.
"As well as encouraging innovation and co-operation, this scheme will help sustain and create local employment opportunities at a time when the sector has been hit by both Brexit and the pandemic.
"Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need for a strong food supply chain and also growing consumer interest in food that is produced locally to a high standard.
"This funding will help new and established businesses to move into emerging markets and ensure the long-term viability of producers.
"I’d encourage all eligible businesses in Moray to apply before the deadline on September 12, 2021."