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A new and exciting initiative which engages primary school children and introduces them to the changing world of work is being rolled-out across 37 primary schools in Derby. Find out how you can get involved.

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The Food & Drink Forum Launches £7million FEAST Project

East Midlands-based support organisation, the Food & Drink Forum has won a £7million contract to deliver funded services to the food and drink manufacturing sector. The Forum will be offering food and drink businesses a range of funded support services including technical support, business mentoring and access to grant funding.

The FEAST project, which stands for the Food Enterprise Advisory Support Team, will run until December 2018 and during this time will support hundreds of businesses, responding to the specific needs of the sector. The project which is worth £7.1million in total will receive £3.5million funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Food & Drink Forum is a not-for-profit, industry-led organisation and will be offering support to food and drink manufacturers through; bespoke technical and business advice, business mentoring, tailored sector-specific events designed to share good practice and develop business partnerships, a specially designed technical apprentice scheme – supporting job creation and developing skills amongst young people, and finally through the allocation of capital grants.

The Food & Drink Forum will be offering grants to businesses looking to expand, to assist with their expenditure. With food and drink manufacturing being a key priority sector within the D2N2 area the FEAST project will encourage growth and innovation not only within the businesses it supports but also across the sector as a whole.

Throughout the course of the project, the Forum will be offering their services to food and drink manufacturers within a number of Local Enterprise Partnership areas including Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2 LEP).

The services will be available to eligible SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

Food & Drink Forum general manager, Fay Davies said

It was essential for us to secure funding to allow us to continue to support the food and drink sector. Food and drink manufacturing is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the UK and is a key part of the UK’s economy. We are delighted that we will be able to offer funded support to local businesses through the FEAST project; SMEs play a huge role in the sector and so we look forward to continuing to help them grow.

Food and Drink Manufacturers interested in benefitting from the services available through the FEAST project should call 0115 975 8810 or should email eqiisfoadrnfrmc.knure@odndikou.ou to check their eligibility.

Further information regarding the FEAST project can be found at www.foodanddrinkforum.co.uk/web/xfdf/feast.cfm

Click to here to download the Introducing FEAST Flyer.

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