Applications have now opened for a £7.3 million SNP Government fund to support Scottish food and drink suppliers and producers to invest in future growth.
The annual Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation Grant Scheme (FPMC) will enable investment across a range of projects including buildings and equipment, feasibility studies, co-operative ventures and the improvement of supply-chain efficiency.
The fund was launched to support initiatives that will safeguard jobs and increase sector efficiency and therefore, 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 of 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.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon MSP said:
“Our food and drink sector creates amazing produce that is enjoyed across local, national and international markets.
“As well as encouraging innovation and co-operation, this scheme will also help sustain and create employment opportunities within our rural communities which have been particularly hardly hit by the damaging impact of Brexit.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has also underlined the need for a strong food supply chain and growing consumer interest in food that is produced locally to a high standard.
“Looking to the future, this funding will help new and established businesses to move into emerging markets and ensure the long-term viability of our primary producers.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“This fund, that used to be co-funded with European Union support, gives food and beverage producers an incentive to develop products they may otherwise not have the resources to invest in.
“The requirements of local benefits, fair work and environmental responsibility mean that the outcomes of funding awards are truly innovative.
“Applications are open to both existing businesses and start-ups, so I encourage anyone food and drink suppliers and producers across North Ayrshire who need investment to get their thinking caps on and put together a solid application as soon as possible.”
The deadline for applications to be received is midnight on 12 September 2021. For more information and to apply for the grant, visit the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Services website.