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Investing in growth

Published: 2 Mar 2016 11:00

111 new jobs created in food and drink sector.

Hundreds of jobs are set to be created and safeguarded through a £3.7 million investment in 12 Scottish food and drink companies.

Cabinet Secretary for Food Richard Lochhead has announced the latest round of awards from the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) scheme, which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the EU.

The grants will enable the food processing companies to improve, extend or build new facilities, creating 111 new jobs and safeguarding 615 more.

Mr Lochhead said:

"Scottish food and drink is world-renowned for its quality, taste and provenance and these latest grants will enable twelve more food and drink companies to expand their operations in response to growing demand for our delicious produce.

"This investment will create and safeguard hundreds of jobs, further contributing to the massive success of Scotland's £14 billion food and drink growth sector.

"It builds on the achievements of our last FPMC scheme which benefited 175 projects across Scotland and supported 8,500 jobs, as well as further investment and export opportunities. These latest awards demonstrate how the Scottish Government and our partners continue to deliver real and tangible support for food production in this country."

The grants announced today are:

  • Aberdeen & Northern Eggs in Aberdeenshire - £239,833 to expand the packing area and install state-of-the-art packing equipment;
  • Benzies (Partnership) in Aberdeenshire - £568,559 towards the cost of new refrigerated vegetable processing and storage facilities;
  • Stirling Potatoes Ltd (Stirfresh) in Angus - £338,688 for a new processing building and equipment;
  • Brunton Farms in Angus - £73,000 for new grading equipment and a root vegetable polisher;
  • JP Gray and Sons in Angus – £61,463 to build a new cold store for soft fruit;
  • WR Logan Ltd in East Lothian - £288,235 for new specialist chill storage facilities for vegetables and a weighbridge;
  • Malcolm Allan Ltd in Falkirk - £452,070 for a new bakery and a new sausage production area;
  • Downfield Ltd in Fife - £142,581 to upgrade its venison processing facilities;
  • Nessgro in Inverness - £583,938 for purchasing machinery for washing and packing fragile root vegetables;
  • We Hae Meat Ltd in South Ayrshire - £403,498 to extend and upgrade its processing and handling facilities;
  • Eyemouth Freezers Ltd in the Scottish Borders – £481,836 to upgrade its processing plant including significant building work and new equipment; and
  • R&K Drysdale Ltd in the Scottish Borders – £39,032 for new vegetable weighing and packing equipment.

Eyemouth Freezers chairman Peter Straker-Smith said: "This award is a tremendous boost to the business. It will enable us to provide a secure foundation for the company's future, for the development of the vining pea crop in the Borders and for our employees' prospects."

Andrew Stirling from Stirling Potatoes Ltd (Stirfresh) said: "This grant support provides us with a great opportunity to take Stirling Potatoes Ltd to another level. This investment will help us to increase the sales of fresh potatoes that can now have a longer shelf life, and are also ready to eat much quicker with no additives and are Gluten Free."

Jane Prentice from Downfield Ltd said: "Venison is one of the healthiest red meats available and demand for it is growing. With the aid of the grant funding we will be able to create a unique facility on the farm, supplying Scottish venison from both farmed and wild deer all year."

Alex Paton, Managing Director of Ayrshire based Butchers Business, We hae meat Ltd said: "We have experienced significant business growth over the past few years. The 'We hae meat' brand and our products are now well established in the Scottish market place and we are seeing ever increasing volume demands for our key lines. The extension to our existing butchery and manufacturing plant will increase our production capacity to meet the demand of our fast growing customer base and will allow us to achieve better operational efficiency.

The additional capacity will also allow us to launch products to target new markets and we will be creating further employment in our local area through this."

Notes to editors

The FPMC scheme is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Five FMPC awards have already been announced. See: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Celebrating-a-taste-of-Scotland-21a3.aspx