Wisbech firm gets £110,000 boost

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A Wisbech firm has received a major boost thanks to a £110,000 grant.

Fountain Foods Ltd will be able to build a new onion storage unit after receiving funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.

The family owned vegetable processing company is one of a host of businesses to receive a share of almost £215,000 worth of Government cash which is distributed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP),

Fountain Foods, which is based in New Road, will be using the money to commission and build a 1,500 tonnes energy efficient storage unit, which will be capable of curing the onions and holding them in chilled conditions between May and July.

Jim Kelk, factory and procurement manager for Fountain Foods Ltd, is delighted with the grant.

He said: “The award will see a dramatic reduction in the food miles and carbon footprint related to the produce associated with the project.

“The ease of application, as well as the complete understanding of the Programme Delivery Board that any grant allocated to Fountain Foods would not only support the recipient’s passion for self-sufficiency in growing, storing and processing onions from the local area, but also increase local farming and employment opportunities.”

The initiative aims to ensure that the area remains at the forefront of agricultural development.

It is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Mark Reeve, chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), explains: “The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is helping to drive forward economic growth in our area by funding vital agricultural research, as well as providing on the ground investment into the agricultural and food manufacturing industry. These grants are delivering new jobs and helping our local businesses grow.

“From food and drink producers to specialist equipment manufacturers and poultry farmers; the variety of companies we have supported reflects the diversity and strength of our area’s agricultural sector.

“There is still funding available, and we want to encourage even more businesses to apply to further strengthen our position as the leading area for agri-tech in the UK.”

Machinery manufacturer Sharp Systems in King’s Lynn and poulty farm Uphouse Farm in Fakenham also received a share of the cash.