SeedPod – What does this mean for Scotland Food & Drink Businesses?

At AAB, we have a dedicated team of Food & Drink specialists who hold a wealth of experience and knowledge of the sector – a nod to the significance of the industry in the context of the Scottish economy and to our business. Considering our involvement within the sector, we…

Blog11th Mar 2020

By Derek Mair

At AAB, we have dedicated team of Food & Drink specialists who hold a wealth of experience and knowledge of the sector – a nod to the significance of the industry in the context of the Scottish economy and to our business. Considering our involvement within the sector, we were thrilled to learn that Aberdeen will be home to Scotland’s forthcoming food and drink development hub ‘SeedPod’.

The project is led by Opportunity North East (ONE), in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Government and UK Government.  Construction of the new build facility, which will be located on Scotland’s Rural College’s facility at Craibstone, will start this year and is due to open in 2022.  The hub aims to support both new and established food and drink businesses to help facilitate their success and growth aspirations by means of providing the correct tools, knowledge and training.  In doing so, ONE’s ambition is to achieve industry growth of 5% per annum in the region, which would double exports by 2030.  This mirrors ambitions set on a national scale by Scottish Government’s Food and Drink Plan.  Scotland’s food and drink sector has experienced remarkable growth over the last decade, and the coming decade looks to be equally as impressive.

SeedPod is an investment of £21m in the sector’s growth, of which £4.4m will be funded by ONE.  Last month, it was announced that £10m of capital funding was secured through the Aberdeen City Region Deal, this is the largest public sector investment to happen in Scotland’s food and drink industry.

The announcement was made to an industry audience, held at Dean’s of Huntly, which our Head of Food and Drink, Derek Mair, was delighted to attend. After reflecting on the announcement, Derek comments on what this means going forward:

“This is a fantastic step in the right direction for Scotland’s Food, Drink and Agriculture industry. This will bring great benefits Scotland-wide, but it is really exciting Seedpod is going to be located in the North East. You just need to look at the diverse range of businesses within the sector located in the North East to realise the extensive larder that is on offer. With significant research partners including the city’s two universities, it will be interesting to see what developments could be unearthed that could change the face of Scottish Agri-Food & Drink. The SeedPod opening will provide fantastic support to both start-up and established businesses across the country to ensure efficiency and success.

If the past few years are anything to go by, it is fair to say this is a great opportunity for Scotland’s food and drink industry and it is fantastic that see that the sector is getting the attention and investment it deserves. When the impressive growth stats are released, it is easy to forget how tough the market still is, and to have support hubs like SeedPod available will surely be a huge relief to hardworking business owners.

SeedPod is not due to open until 2022, but we will be keeping a close eye on developments and the team at AAB are already excited to see how we can work with SeedPod to help our clients excel through combined help from AAB and SeedPod.”

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in contact with Derek Mair, Audit Partner and Head of Food & Drink, or your usual AAB contact.

By Derek Mair

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