A number of farming and food businesses in the north and north-east have received their share of a £5 million funding package from Scottish Government.
The funding, through the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme, will help 30 businesses invest in infrastructure, buy new equipment, and upgrade or replace facilities.
“This support will enable established producers and businesses across Scotland to look to the future and capitalise on emerging market opportunities, as well as offer support to start-up businesses,” said Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.
The recipients include the Willis family’s Forest Farm Dairy business, on the outskirts of Aberdeen, which will receive £77,000 to expand its production facilities.
Root vegetable grower Nessgro Ltd at Dalcross, near Inverness, has been awarded more than £230,000 towards a project to buy new robotic sorting and packing equipment, while Melrose Farms, near Banff, will receive £342,000 towards a project to build a facility for dressing, drying and storing oats.
Benzies (Partnership) near Turriff will receive almost £400,000 to expand the processing of out-of-spec carrots and potatoes.
Knockfarrel Produce near Dingwall will get a little more than £15,000 to help build and equip a new processing unit to increase its production capacity.
North Uist Distillery Ltd has been given almost £200,000 to help buy new distilling equipment and move to larger premises, while Hebridean Charcuterie on the Isle of Lewis has been awarded just above £5,000 to get equipment to start the business.
PJ & I Stuart at Strathdon has been given £8,600 towards a new building for the slaughter and plucking of turkeys reared on the farm, and Grantown meat company Millers of Speyside is to receive almost £50,000 towards the cost of a new vacuum packing system.
Dingwall butcher John M Munro is to receive £213,000 towards the cost of a new building and equipment, while HM & PP Swire near Laurencekirk gets a little above £180,000 to help it become the first organically certified deer slaughterhouse and venison-processing facility in Scotland.
Ahren and Louise Urquhart from Louise’s Farm Kitchen, near Banchory, have been awarded almost £30,000 to install an on-farm butchery, while Rora Dairy, based near Peterhead, will get £100,000 towards the cost of a new glass milk bottling plant.