‘Pioneering’ Inverclyde food and drink incubator receives planning consent

Riverside Inverclyde Property Holdings, the organisation charged with delivering the economic redevelopment of Inverclyde in the west of Scotland, has been given planning permission by Inverclyde Council for a new food and drink incubator in Greenock.

The incubator and its other areas of support for businesses will be the first of its kind in Scotland, assisting Inverclyde’s growth in the food and drink sector as Scotland aims to double its turnover to £30 billion by 2030.

Baker Street Food & Drink Enterprises will be built on land recently cleared at the corner of Greenock’s Baker Street and Drumfrochar Road, and is part of a wider £3.5 million project including a road re-alignment being delivered by Riverside Inverclyde for Inverclyde Council.

Baker Street will see the development of six manufacturing units ranging from 45 to 95 square metres. Aimed at enticing the growth of small and medium sized food and drink businesses, the building will also include shared office space, storage unit, research and board room facilities for its tenants as well as shower and change areas.

The incubator will aim also to facilitate growth for the businesses based at Baker Street, with the expectation that they will expand in a sustainable manner before moving onto larger premises in Inverclyde, allowing a constant flow of new firms to move in.

Riverside Inverclyde will also provide a business growth programme to support the businesses, as well as potential match-funding support for machinery and equipment. All of this is aimed at assisting with the transition into Baker Street alongside support towards achieving Safe And Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) standard accreditation for the units.

Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde, said: “We have already seen interest in the incubator from businesses and expect to see further demand as the project develops. Alongside the road realignment project, this popular and busy corner of Greenock will have a completely new feel and flow and we look forward to getting started with this project.”

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s environment and regeneration convener, said: “The food and drink sector in Inverclyde has the potential to be an area of real growth and opportunity. Baker Street will play a key part in this and we look forward to seeing the completed incubator hub.”

Dr Gerry McCarthy, chair of Riverside Inverclyde, added: “This incubator offers Inverclyde some exciting opportunities, not least to grow the number of local producers but hopefully to see some of the early companies grow to be success stories and offer employment opportunities.”

The development is due to begin this summer with a completion date of early 2019. The Baker Street incubator is being support by £900,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

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