£9 million awarded to support growth in key food and drink sector

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The Scottish Government has awarded 32 companies grant support worth £9 million under the latest rounds of food and drink funding.

The Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation (FPMC) scheme means that since 2008 159 Scottish projects have benefited from £38 million support. The latest rounds include grants for two innovative Scottish companies with high growth potential to construct new brewery premises.

Heidi Beers in Glasgow have received £1.85 million towards expansion plans that will support 18 new employees and see all production move to a new facility in Scotland, relocating the 70 per cent of their operations currently based in Germany.  Heidi will source 92 per cent of their barley from Scotland, while they will launch a new low-alcohol lager.

Aberdeenshire-based Brewdog will receive £551,000 towards a new brewery in Ellon, in a move that will create 16 new jobs and enable them to relocate to Scotland production that takes place in England and Belgium.  A new storage facility will see Brewdog increase Scottish-sourced barley from 10 per cent to 50 per cent, while the development will enable expansion in to a new non-alcoholic malt-based soft drink range.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Food and drink is one of Scotland’s greatest success stories, thanks to our outstanding natural larder and high quality, delicious produce.  It’s fitting that this £9.5 million support is being announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.  The funding announced today will benefit a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses across the country and support the creation of new jobs and further investment.

“While Scotch whisky is the international flag bearer of our drink offering, our beers and ales are highly sought after and this sector has seen rapid growth in recent years. Heidi and Brewdog are innovative Scottish companies and this investment will not only create jobs, but boost Scottish agriculture through more locally sourced barley.  I particularly welcome plans to diversity their products to include low and non-alcoholic drinks.”

Petra Wetzel, of Heidi Beers Ltd trading as WEST Brewery, said his company were “thrilled” at the award from the Scotiah government and added:

“The food and drink industry in Scotland, in particular the premium producers, play an increasingly important role for Scotland – focusing on job creation, exporting Scotland the brand and providing Scots with sustainable and well-sourced produce.

“WEST is proud to create premium lagers and wheat beers that showcase the best of Scotland and this grant will finally enable us to build our brewing centre of excellence right here in Glasgow.”

James Watt, BrewDog Plc co-founder claimed the award ensured their new state of the art brewery would be based in Aberdeenshire, and said:

“The new brewery will increase our production capacity ten fold and give us the capacity to keep up with the overwhelming demand for our beers and continue to grow our business. In addition the project will create 20 full time jobs and significantly increase the amount of Scottish malted barley we purchase.

“We look forward to putting Scotland firmly on the world map for the finest quality premium craft beer and are extremely grateful for the Scottish Government’s help in making this project a reality.”

Grants for the food industry have been awarded for a wide range of businesses and include:

  • £846,687 for Malcolm Allan, a family-owned butchery business based in Falkirk, for the purchase of a new building and the upgrade and installation of meat processing facilities.
  • £341,438 for Benzie, a Turriff-based carrots and potatoes company, to extend facilities and install a cleaning line, packing line, bagging machine, weigher/metal detectors, two forklift trucks and a waste water treatment plant.
  • £99,300 for TDC Thomson, a vegetable processor in Kelso, to construct a humidified and refrigerated storage building for broccoli and cauliflower.
  • £15,370 for Connage Highland Dairy in Inverness, a handmade cheese producer, to build a new packing area and office space alongside new refrigeration and processing equipment.

Mr Lochhead added:

“Scotland has a well deserved reputation for its outstanding produce and companies such as Benzie’s and TDC Thomson are able to make the most of high quality raw ingredients – which in turn means that their vegetable products can succeed in the market place. Meanwhile businesses like Malcolm Allan make the most of the outstanding beef, lamb and pork produced in Scotland.

“Value-added products – such as the fantastic artisan cheeses made by the Connage Highland Dairy – demonstrate how Scottish companies can deliver more punch for their pound. I’m pleased that Scottish Government support is helping these businesses to grow.”

 

Further Information

All awards are subject to confirmation of eligible expenditure.  For more information and a full list of recipients visit http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Food-Industry/granttimetable/pmcgawards

FPMC is a competitive funding scheme under the Scotland Rural Development Programme.  For more information visit: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/SRDP.