16 March 2020

Council committed to ongoing support of food and drink industry support scheme

Aberdeenshire Council has committed £47,000 to support ongoing food and drink project work being undertaken by Opportunity North East (ONE).

Members of the authority’s Infrastructure Services Committee last week welcomed the valuable work being undertaken by ONE throughout the region before approving the contribution towards the total project costs of ££213,000. 

ONE was established in 2015 as a private sector-led body, focused on ensuring a sustainable economic future for the North-east Scotland.  

Since then it has played a pivotal role in expanding and strengthening the region’s economy by investing in and supporting the delivery of significant projects across various industries including oil, gas and energy, food, drink and agriculture, life sciences, digital and entrepreneurship, and tourism. 

Councillors were advised that the activity undertaken by ONE in 2020 to support the food and drink sector via the North East Scotland Food and Drink Network, Food and Drink Awards and Business Growth Programme, will be along similar lines to previous years. 

Other than the Aberdeenshire Council contribution, the total project costs will be met by matching contributions from ONE, ticket sales and sponsorship for the North East Scotland Food and Drink Network and North East Scotland Food and Drink Awards and contributions from participating companies in the Business Growth and Leadership Programmes. 

Afterwards, ISC chair Councillor Peter Argyle said: “Food and drink remains a crucial and constantly developing area of our region’s diversifying local economy. 

“Aberdeenshire Council continues to be a very strong supporter of our dynamic food and drink industry and I am confident that Opportunity North East will ensure that Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector continues to go from strength to strength. 

“Of course, it is also a sector which faces considerable challenges – most notably the UK’s recent departure from the European Union. Food and drink exports are a crucial part of our economy and we must ensure we use all available resources to promote and boost that trade in the post-Brexit era.” 

ISC vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “Regionally, in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, the food and drink industry directly employs more than 22,000 people and is worth more than £2.2billion each year. 

“That’s equivalent to some 22% of Scotland’s turnover which demonstrates just how vitally- important it is to the success of the Scottish food and drink offering as a whole.”