£246,000 EU Funding For Local Company

Feb 28, 2006

Portadown company, Wilson’s Country, is one of 13 Northern Ireland food and horticulture companies to benefit from £3.46 million in grant aid from the EU Agricultural Processing and Marketing Grant Scheme.

The potato and fruit processing company has been awarded a grant of over £246,000 to support its investment in new plant and equipment. It is planning to centralise and modernise its three core processing operations.

The grant award was announced recently by the Agriculture Minister, Jeff Rooker, who said that the projects to be supported would foster innovation and capability development, and strengthen local supply chains in the agri-food sector.

Wilson’s Country currently employs 104 and anticipates creating 14 new jobs as a result of the investment. The company estimates that it will increase sales by over £2 million over the next three years and further develop its export markets.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Food, says: “To compete successfully, agri-food companies need to invest in innovative new products and innovative marketing techniques.

“This grant will help Wilson’s Country to maximise its operational efficiency and increase sales by taking a market-led, customer focused approach, in keeping with the Food Strategy Report.”

The EU Agricultural Processing and Marketing Grant Scheme is designed to improve the economic performance and international competitiveness of the food processing sector. It is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with Invest NI and is part of the Northern Ireland Programme for Building Sustainable Prosperity.

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