Food innovation hub on outskirts of Edinburgh moves step closer after multi-million funding pledge
A “flagship” food and drink innovation hub on the outskirts of Edinburgh has moved a step closer after the unlocking of £40 million of funding.
The business case supporting the development of the facility, next to the Queen Margaret University (QMU) campus on the boundary of Edinburgh has been given the green light by officials. As a result, £40m of City Region Deal funding has been unlocked for the project.
The innovation park is supported by £28.6m from the UK government, £1.4m from the Scottish Government and £10m from East Lothian Council as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
The hub will focus on food and drink related innovation within the context of health and wellbeing and will include serviced laboratories and office accommodation as well as facilities for events. It will be the anchor for Edinburgh Innovation Park which will be developed over time to create a “nationally significant centre of knowledge exchange, innovation and high value business growth”.
Work will commence immediately to select the design team and finalise designs for the hub. Construction is expected to begin early in 2023 and is likely to be completed two years later.
Sir Paul Grice, principal, Queen Margaret University, said: “This is great news for East Lothian, and for Scotland’s food and drink sector, especially as it relates to society’s health and wellbeing.
“The committee’s approval to release £40m City Deal funding will aid economic recovery from the impacts of the pandemic by bringing quality jobs and investment to the area, and by supporting an important sector through research, knowledge exchange and skills training.”