Â£330k investment in agri-tech industry
More than £300,000 has been invested into the agri-tech industry across the East of England thanks to a government initiative.
In total, £331,375 of grant funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative has been allocated to four projects that will help local agricultural and horticultural businesses to grow.
The companies which secured the funding are: Glebe Farm Foods, Park Farm Prawns, JA Collison & Sons and Nelson County.
Glebe Farm Foods, based in Huntingdon, is a manufacturer of gluten-free food for sufferers of food intolerances. The project involves creating a new second generation gluten free oat mill, packing plant and store.
Suffolk-based Park Farm Prawns will use the funding to support a research and development project to establish a hatchery for saltwater prawns, which project developers believe is the first of its kind in the UK.
Norfolk-based Collison, one of the largest cut flower growers in the UK, will use the funding to purchase, install and commission a fully automatic, robotic flower processing and bunching line.
North Norfolk-based Nelson County, a potato supplier to the crisp industry, will undertake a research project in collaboration with the John Innes Centre (Norwich) to investigate the potential to reduce levels of current agents used to deter sprouting in stored potatoes.
Mark Reeve, chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: "We are pleased to be providing grant funding to such a wide range of projects – from new machinery to help flower growers and oat producers, through to vital research and development that will ensure that our local area remains at the cutting-edge of the agri-tech industry.
"Our initiative has already committed over £1.5m of grant funding into the local area, but there is still so much more we can achieve. I would therefore encourage businesses in our local area to find out more about the grant funding we have available, and I look forward to making even more funding announcements in the near future."