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Scottish meat industry wins millions in grant funding
Published:  22 June, 2017

Scottish meat processors and butchers have secured funds totalling £3.7 million through Scotland’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) Grant Scheme. 

Highland Meats, which is based at Saltcoats in Ayrshire and part of Dawn Meats, received £2.4m, the biggest tranche of the cash, which has been earmarked for a site upgrade.

A spokesman for Dawn Meats said: "Dawn Meats has been operating in Scotland, from our facility in Highland Meats, for more than 30 years.

"We are committed to our farmer suppliers, our employees and our customers in Scotland and have planned a significant and exciting development of our facility to ensure that Highland Meats has the most modern technologies that will allow future growth opportunities for quality red meat from Scotland.

"We are delighted that the Scottish government has agreed to support that investment through the FPMC grant scheme and we would like to thank them for their ongoing support.”

ABP Perth, which employs 280 staff and works with 1,600 farmers across Scotland, has received just over £667,000. The company confirmed the money would form part of a £3m investment in the first phase of a major upgrade, involving expanding chilling and maturation facilities and improving production and staff amenities.

Commenting on ABP’s plans for the facility, Tom Kirwan, ABP UK managing director, said: “We are really excited to be moving forward with the development and creating a facility that will not only support Scottish agriculture by providing a world-class processing facility but will also enable additional value to be created which will be good for local employment and the economy.”

Simon Howie Butchers of Perth, recipient of Meat Trades Journal’s Butcher’s Shop of The Year Award in 2006 and renowned for its haggis, has gained almost £517,000 for a site upgrade. Chairman Simon Howie told MTJ: "We are delighted that the decision makers recognised that underpinning our previous capital projects as well as sustaining and growing the staff numbers at Simon Howie Butchers is a commitment they are willing to support.

"We are pleased that the extra workspace and improved operating systems will soon be in place and we can get on with the job of doing our bit for Scottish food and drink as well as the agricultural sector.

"Macro issues such as currency are causing food inflation but they also bring a real chance to export our goods globally. We would like to thank the rural affairs team at the Scottish government who administer the scheme."

Just over £100,000 was given to Sandyford Abattoir in Paisley, also for a site upgrade.

Bert Fowlie Family Butcher in Fraserburgh has gained £59,000 to support its expansion plans, while trade body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has scooped £16,000 to support product marketing. A spokeswoman for QMS told Meat Trades Journal the funds would be used "for materials and information for use at international events".

Overall, £5.8m has been granted to food and drink businesses, including firms outside the meat sector. Announcing the awards ahead of the Royal Highland Show, cabinet secretary for the rural economy Fergus Ewing said: “Whether it’s salmon, dairy or whisky our food and drink industry is world-renowned and these latest grants will enable 16 more food and drink companies to expand their operations in response to growing demand for our wonderful larder.

“With the latest figures showing that our food and drink exports increased by over 11% in the first quarter of this year, today’s funding award of £5.8m clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to help food and drink companies large and small take their businesses to the next level, building on our reputation as a land of food and drink."

FPMC Grant Scheme was launched by Richard Lochhead on May 14, 2015 and is set to run until the end of 2020.