Is The UK Food And Drink Manufacturing Industry Getting Enough Support?



Britain’s food and drink manufacturing sector certainly has its opportunities. It’s the largest manufacturing industry in the UK, and with the population growing, there will be more mouths to feed. Consumer patterns are also changing, and scientific innovation is allowing manufacturers to adapt to these.

Yet, whilst this paints a prosperous picture, the sector isn’t without its challenges. One key issue is finance – funding is necessary to help the industry thrive. But, is the UK food manufacturing industry receiving enough support?

Here we explore the issue at hand by delving into the available funding.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)

Supporting growth in England’s rural areas, this scheme aims to create new jobs and offers grants for specific businesses. Food manufacturers can apply, with SMEs prioritised over larger businesses.

Whether or not you’ll be accepted for the grant depends on where you’re located and the products you manufacture. You can expect a minimum of £35,000, and in specific LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) areas, this increases to a maximum of £1m.

Rural Business Investment Scheme – Food

Similarly, in Wales, there is a dedicated programme for rural businesses, which supports projects that offer clear benefits to the food and drink industry. It’s available for both start-ups and existing businesses, though they will still need to be of a small size (less than 50 employees).

The maximum grant threshold is £50,000. In terms of rate, for any individual investment project it is 40% of the collective amount of eligible costs. Whilst the support covers tangible assets, replacements of existing machinery and equipment are ineligible.

FEAST2 Support

Until September 2021, food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands could benefit from funding, industry events, technical support and business mentoring from The Food & Drink Forum.

To be eligible, businesses must employ less than 250 employees and have an annual turnover less than £45m. Businesses must also be looking to invest in production equipment to help with growth, productivity and recruitment. 25% will be offered to support these purchases.

It’s clear that whilst financial support is incredibly important, this isn’t the only type required to ensure food and drink manufacturing SMEs thrive. From access to networks to talent attraction, food and drink manufacturing businesses need support in their regions. And that’s where we come in.

Silven can help support your hiring strategy. We are able to recruit for your food and drink manufacturing SME, as we source candidates all over the UK.

And they will be of the right calibre. This is because we don’t compromise on quality. Using modern recruitment methods, we’re able to place the perfect candidate swiftly. We have an extensive network, so you’ll have access to the very best in the industry.

With a proactive approach and expert market knowledge, it’s no wonder that food and drink manufacturing leaders trust us. To benefit from a helping hand with your recruitment, get in touch with our friendly team today.