Published: 09:08, 07 September 2021
| Updated: 09:10, 07 September 2021
Food and drink producers in the county can now apply for grants worth up to £250,000.
The research and development (R&D) funding has been made available by Growing Kent & Medway - a cluster of businesses which aims to help drive innovation and growth in the sector.
The money will be awarded to proposals that demonstrate "the potential to positively impact the local economy" with successful applicants asked to commit to delivering community engagement in the county.
It comes from a £2million funding pot, derived from government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places programme.
For those businesses based in the county keen to learn more, an online briefing event will take place at 11.30am on Tuesday, September 14 with more information on how best to bid for a share of the funds.
Dr Nicola Harrison, programme director for Growing Kent & Medway, said: “These grants are an important part of our programme to uplift the region’s economy through inclusive and innovation-led growth. The impact of these R&D projects will help to cement the area’s reputation as world-leaders in sustainable food and drink production.
“We would encourage local businesses across the whole horticultural food and drink supply chain, from food processing, packaging, storage to agri-food technology to apply.”
Proposed projects will need to support their business’ transition to net-zero and deliver improved productivity and sustainability in food and drink production.
David Sweeney, executive chair of Research England and leader of the UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places Fund, added: “Growing Kent and Medway is developing the area as the UK’s leading region for climate-smart food production and processing. These newly available grants for horticulture, food production and related technology businesses will help drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth that will benefit local people across Kent and Medway, and help them move towards a sustainable, net zero future.
“And as well as the financial support, the businesses will also be able to access advice on innovation and growth from the specialists at Innovate UK EDGE, which is also part of the UK Research and Innovation family.”
Eligible businesses will need to based in Kent or Medway, or carrying out significant economic activity in the region. They can be involved in any part of the horticultural food and drink sector; from production, fresh produce packaging, food processing or technologies that underpin the supply chain.
For details on how to apply for the funding, click here. The closing date for applications is 11am on October 20.
The online briefing next week can be accessed, via Zoom, by clicking here.