A project that aims to double the value of north east Scotland’s food and drink sector is moving ahead with procurement underway for the main contractor for the construction of the transformational industry development hub.
SeedPod is a £21 million investment in the food and drink industry in north east Scotland to create a centre of excellence that will deliver regional and national growth ambitions.
The SeedPod project includes £10 million of capital funding provided jointly by the UK Government and Scottish Government via the Aberdeen City Region Deal – a partnership between both governments, Opportunity North East (ONE), Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council – and £4.4 million from ONE.
SeedPod will be a new-build facility, located close to Aberdeen International Airport and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.
ONE is the lead partner for the project and a new company, Food Hub (NES) Limited, has been established to deliver SeedPod.
Neil Freckingham, Food Hub Director at ONE, said: “North east Scotland accounts for more than 20% of Scotland’s food and drink output and the sector employs more than 22,000 people across Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen. The growth of new and established businesses is vital to the region’s long-term economic recovery and diversification.
“SeedPod will be the go-to place to deliver the regional ambition to grow the size and value of the food and drink sector. It will stimulate and support a consumer-focussed, customer-driven approach across all areas of the industry to inspire established businesses to innovate and grow and to nurture new start-ups.
“SeedPod will create opportunities to pilot advanced manufacturing processes and technology, scale-up production, inspire new product development and provide access to global market insights. SeedPod will also offer bespoke programmes and specialist facilities, including incubator commercial-grade manufacturing units; development kitchens; full-service managed production and storage space; presentation areas; co-working and collaboration space.
“The concept design stage for SeedPod is completed, we are now in detailed design development and the Food Hub (NES) board has therefore given its approval to start the procurement process for the main contractor for the project,” said Mr Freckingham.