Central Bedfordshire is home to leading brands including Jordans Ryvita and Signature Flatbreads (formally Honeytop Foods), whilst local producers and sellers are represented through Tastes of Bedfordshire. We work with the sector to both encourage the development of larger scale food manufacturing as well as utilising the potential of local produce in supporting the visitor economy, through food tourism and encouraging individuals to shop locally.
Central Bedfordshire Council has secured £50,000 of government funding which will help food, drink and farming businesses to set up and expand in the Biggleswade and Ivel Valley area. The funding has enabled a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) to deliver faster growth for businesses in the sector.
The FEZ, working with Cranfield University, will support the creation of 2,000 jobs and up to 30 new businesses by 2020 in a new food and drink cluster. It is underpinned by a Local Development Order on Stratton Business Park to ensure that planning processes are easier for agri-food businesses and their related supply chains.
Central Bedfordshire Council is also working with the Food and Drink Forum to deliver funding for a range of services to food and drink manufacturers through the FEAST2 programme. This includes; grant funding, business mentoring, industry events, technical support and technical apprentices.