Grant aid leads to jobs boost at Ladybank farm

Robert and Jane Prentice with deer at Downfield Farm (Fife Photo Agency)
Robert and Jane Prentice with deer at Downfield Farm (Fife Photo Agency)
  • Deer payout
  • Extra jobs
  • Bigger operation

Investment is meat and drink to the Scottish Government, which is allowing Scottish food and drink companies to expand their operations.

New jobs are set to be created and safeguarded through a £3.7 million investment in a dozen such firms across the country.

Fife has always been seen as a food county.

Jane Prentice

Among them is Downfield Farm at Ladybank, which is receiving a six-figure sum to upgrade its venison processing facilities.

The awards are coming from the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) scheme, which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the EU.

Food processing companies will be able to improve, extend or build new facilities, said Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Food. He added that, across the country, over 100 new jobs would be created and over 600 others protected.

Downfield bosses Jane and Robert Prentice are in line for just over £142,500 to enhance their venison operation.

Jane said: “Venison is one of the healthiest red meats available and demand for it is growing. With the aid of the grant funding, we will be able to create a unique facility on the farm, supplying Scottish venison from both farmed and wild deer all year.”

The couple hoped to finish renovating their premises, add extra equipment and possibly employ a butcher, while there may also be opportunities for trainees.

“It’s good for Fife, which has always been seen as a food county,” added Jane.

Mr Lochhead said: “Scottish food and drink is world-renowned for its quality, taste and provenance and these latest grants will enable 12 more food and drink companies to expand their operations in response to growing demand for our delicious produce.”

The investment would contribute further to “the massive success of Scotland’s £14 billion food and drink growth sector”, he said, adding: “These awards demonstrate how the Scottish Government and our partners continue to deliver real and tangible support for food production in this country.”