FOOD and drink businesses in Scotland are set to benefit from a share of more than £10 million in grants from the Scottish Government.

A total of 33 businesses, large and small, will receive grants ranging from £16,000 to £1.4m from the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme.

It is hoped the grants will improve supply-chain efficiency, increase production and run feasibility studies.

Projects include capacity building for a dairy farm to meet the growing demand for its soft cheese, setting up a new venison processing operation and installation of solar panels at a butcher premises to reduce carbon footprint and minimise electricity costs.

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A family run organic farm in Aberdeenshire is one of the beneficiaries of the grants. Phil Swire of P HM & PP Swire, Balmakewan Farm Shop, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our FPMC Grant application was successful.

"The FPMC grant gives our small farming business a huge opportunity to diversify and move forward.

“It will allow us to process our Organically home grown produce on site, creating further local employment.

"It is my belief that we need to be offering nutrient dense, ethically farmed, chemical free and environmentally positive food directly to local consumers whilst also reducing food miles.

"This project will allow our small family run farm to start offering exactly this to our local community.”

On a visit to the farm Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The Scottish Government is supporting investment and expansion in our food and drink sector which offers incredible produce that is enjoyed at home and abroad.

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“The FPMC scheme has enabled some really exciting projects in the past and I’m confident that this round of funding will play an important role in helping producers continue to deliver high-quality, innovative and nutritious products – securing and creating jobs and boosting the economy.

“I look forward to seeing how these grants enable businesses to move to the next level and I wish them the very best.”