SeedPod marks construction milestone

Professor Jamie Newbold, right, prepares to add corn, one of the symbolic ingredients, into the traditional industry ceremony with other SeedPod partners

The new SeedPod industry innovation hub for north-east Scotland’s £2.4 billion food manufacturing sector has marked a major construction milestone.

The project partners, including SRUC, celebrated the “topping out”, or highest point, of the new build on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

SeedPod will offer a range of benefits to ambitious businesses in the food and drink sector. It provides a platform to scale production in food-grade manufacturing units, develop new products and processes in the NPD kitchen and pilot plant, and showcase their products online and in person in the demo kitchen. Additionally, it offers a vibrant community for entrepreneurs, founders, and business leaders to connect and access tailored support to accelerate growth.

The 30,000 square foot new-build is in its main construction phase and is scheduled to open next year.

Opportunity North East (ONE) is leading and co-funding the Aberdeen City Region Deal (ACRD) project, with substantial funding from the UK Government, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, and the Just Transition Fund. Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) is the strategic partner, providing the serviced site for ONE SeedPod on its Craibstone Campus.

Sir Ian Wood, chair of ONE, David Kilshaw, chair of Food Hub (NES) Ltd, Stanley Morrice, chair of the food, drink and agriculture board at ONE and ONE CEO Jennifer Craw were joined at ONE SeedPod by John Lamont, UK Government Minister for Scotland, Gillian Martin, Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Just Transition and Fair Work, Professor Jamie Newbold, Provost & Deputy Principal of SRUC, Paul Duthie, Land and Property Project Manager at Scottish Enterprise, Councillor Ian Yuill, Vice-chair of the ACRD Joint Committee and Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, and John McHardy, Business Development Director, Robertson Group, to commemorate the construction milestone.

A ceremonial brick was prepared to ensure the success of the building in line with industry tradition with symbolic ingredients added to the brick mould. Oil represents liberty and prosperity, corn, to enable the property to ripen in abundance, salt for purity, wine to represent hospitality and wisdom, and yew branches for longevity and renewal.

Sir Ian said: “The Aberdeen City Region Deal was the first of its kind with a vision to diversify our economy by investing in key sector innovation and growth. Food and drink is this region’s biggest industry after energy, employing 22,000 people, and the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. ONE and the project partners are investing in the growth potential of new and established businesses. We celebrate a milestone in the build today and look ahead to ONE SeedPod becoming the focal point for practical growth support to the sector.”

Prof Newbold said: “The North East of Scotland has long had a thriving local food and drink sector and we are delighted to be working with Opportunity North East on SeedPod. We are excited to mark the next stage in its development and look forward to working with ONE and other businesses to grow the size and value of the region’s food and drink sector.”

To find out more visit SRUC’s Major Projects pages.

Posted by SRUC on 27/03/2024

Tags: Agriculture, Food and Drink, SAC Consulting
Categories: Research | Consulting and Commercial