Scottish meat firms win over £600k in government funding

Two Scottish butchers, one meat processor and an abattoir association between them have secured more than £600,000 in funding from the Scottish Government to expand operations. 

Lockerbie-based family-run butchery business Border Meats, which employs 20 staff, was awarded £305,000 to centralise its operations. The business plans to replace its retail butchery premises on Goods Station Road with a purpose-built facility, housing a sustainable abattoir, cutting room and sales office in Lockerbie.

Simon Howie Butchers, Perthshire, was awarded the second-largest amount of any meat company with a £206,294 government grant. The business operates two retail butchery premises in Perthshire and has its third site, Findony Farm, supplies over 200 hotels and restaurants.

Funds will be used to build a dry goods store, cold store with blast freezing and a centralised meat packing room at Findony Farm.

Simon Howie, owner, said: “We are delighted to hear that further support has been awarded to our business. The extra storage and handling space will underpin the recently installed automated packing lines. We are keen to ensure that we learn new things as we grow and as such the exciting opportunities that our recent investments have brought mean that we must have the appropriate infrastructure to cope with the increased output.”

Aerial shot of Simon Howie's factory

Multi-species meat processor Millers of Speyside, based in the Highlands, was awarded £83,660 to purchase and install an on-site incinerator and stun box for its cattle and pig line. The business declined to comment when contacted by Meat Trades Journal.

The Scottish Islands Abattoir Association (SIAA), a collective group of waterlocked slaughterhouses, will receive £43,400 to carry out feasibility study to analyse how the economic sustainability of the abattoirs could be ensured and their levels of throughput increased.

SIAA could not be contacted to comment on the Scottish Government fund, but a local abattoir contact revealed a meeting would be held at the end of this month to discuss the study.

The four meat companies are among nine other businesses to receive Scottish Government funding made available through Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grants worth £3.5m.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said the funding would “support sustainable cooperation and collaboration from primary production and processing to the market, so industry can continue to flourish”.

Earlier in 2017, Scottish meat processors and butchers, including Dawn Meats, secured funds through the same grant totalling £3.7m.

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