New grant scheme to help bakers fund equipment

A new grant scheme has been launched to offer bakers in Scotland funding to modernise or buy equipment.

The scheme, which follows a similar initiative available to Scottish grocery retailers, was announced by rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing at the Scottish Bakers conference in Glasgow this weekend.

Small family-run or independent businesses will be able to apply for funding out of the £125,000 Scottish Bakers Grant Scheme. The exact criteria for applicants is being developed and further information on how to apply will be available in the future from Scottish Bakers, which will administer the fund.

“Small, independent bakers have an important role to play in Scotland, providing skilled jobs in communities and shops in our town centres,” said Ewing, adding the Scottish government was keen to enable businesses to cut costs and contribute to its climate change reduction targets through more efficient use of energy and resources.

“The Scottish government is proud to support them to provide modern healthy food-to-go facilities, with a focus on reducing waste.”

Scottish Bakers chief executive Alasdair Smith said the fund would provide vital funding to support bakers and help them meet changing consumer needs.

"Scottish bakers are skilled crafts people baking fresh goods daily and many of our members are stalwarts of our high streets and communities,” he added. “And of course a strong bakery sector is also good for Scotland, supporting 12,000 jobs securing the future of our much loved daily bread, savoury snacks and sweet treats."

The scheme follows the launch of a capital investment programme, managed by the Scottish Grocers Federation, to help small independent grocers introduce food-to-go stations in their stores. Sixty-six businesses have benefitted from that scheme since it was launched in 2017, said Ewing.

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