£250,000 boost for regional food and drink sector

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Applications are now being accepted for grants of up to £5,000, as part of a new initiative to help drive projects that celebrate and promote locally sourced and produced food and drink.
A total of £250,000 is available for the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, which will support collaborative projects in their early stages.

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Announcing that the fund is now open for applications at Scotland’s Food and Drink Excellence Awards in Edinburgh, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“We’re very fortunate in Scotland to have a food and drink sector that is internationally renowned.
“It is a major driver in our economy and supports around 17,000 businesses, and 115,000 jobs – as well as providing an increasingly important contribution to Scotland’s unique tourist offering.
“The Scottish Government’s aim is to support the industry’s ambition to double its value to £30 billion by 2030. In order to do that we’re working with partners to develop new and existing markets, boosting innovation and skills, and supporting local producers via business rates exemptions, and schemes like the Connect Local Regional Food Fund.
“These grants of up to £5000 will support collaborative local projects, providing vital funding when these initiatives need it most. This relatively modest outlay will result in long-term benefits for our regional food industry and the wider economy.”
Commenting on the announcement, Tom Kirwan, Managing Director of ABP’s UK Division, said:
“We look forward to beginning work and transforming Perth into one of the most modern facilities of its kind in the UK. The improvements will benefit everyone from our farmer suppliers through to our colleagues and the local economy. It will create eighty additional jobs on site and provide significant employment during the construction phase.”
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