1. What is AMIC?
The Ayrshire Manufacturing Investment Corridor project (AMIC), is one of 19 projects which forms the Ayrshire Growth Deal. AMIC is one of four projects that will be delivered in East Ayrshire. The Ayrshire Regional Economic Strategy (Ayrshire 2030), states that: “The key for the food and drink sector growth in Ayrshire is innovation. Connecting primary production and manufacturing with local, national and international markets.”
New product development and innovation are key catalysts for business growth in the food and drink sector.
The Ayrshire Manufacturing Investment Corridor project will enable the delivery of the Ayrshire Regional Economic Strategy for the food and drink sector, but will also provide new general advance manufacturing and industrial units to service the wider manufacturing industry in Ayrshire and the South West of Scotland. This investment in manufacturing across all sectors will provide industry growth and attract inward investment to the Ayrshire region.
2. What will the project deliver?
- A Food and Drink Centre of Excellence to help support and develop the food and drink industry in South West Scotland.
- A range of food grade incubation units to allow micro and start up food and drink businesses to grow.
- Advanced manufacturing units which will provide growth opportunities for local food and drink businesses.
- Food and drink business with links to academia.
- Training and opportunities for the food and drink sector, including potential apprentice opportunities.
- A signposting service to the agricultural industry in relation to diversification and added value dairy products.
3. What are the aims of the project?
- Provide a range of industrial units for advanced manufacturing businesses to support their growth within the region.
- Develop a regionally and nationally significant food and drink centre of excellence in and around the Kilmarnock area.
- Provide sector specific support to maximise growth and development of food and drink businesses in the South West of Scotland.
- Provide a signposting service to food and drink businesses and the agricultural industry in the South West of Scotland.
- Provide innovation and technical support in relation to all aspects of the product development cycle from concept through to launch.
4. How is the project funded?
The project is funded by £10 million from the UK Government for an innovation hub and Manufacturing Centre of Excellence along with food grade incubation units, and £13.5 million from the Scottish Government for the construction of advanced manufacturing units.
5. What will the Centre of Excellence offer?
The Centre will provide support on all aspects of the product development process from concept to launch. Support could include:
- Recipe development and innovation
- Environmental health support along with technical and legislative support
- Access to market data to help make informed choices on the scale and market demand for the diversification project
- Support on marketing, provenance and routes to market
- Commercial support
- Pilot plant facilities to allow scale up and small scale manufacture to test market demand
- Packaging, supply chain and procurement advice
- Automation and digital technologies assistance
- Office and meeting room facilities
- Presentation kitchens
6. Who will use the Centre?
- Start-up and micro business
- Established food and drink businesses
- Agricultural industry
- Academia (colleges, universities and schools)
- Training and development organisations
- Local authority departments – Environmental Health, Business Development
7. Where will the Centre of Excellence be situated?
The exact location has yet to be decided but three locations in and around the Kilmarnock area are currently being explored. Having the Centre situated in Kilmarnock provides the best transport links and allows easy access to business from across the South West of Scotland.
8. When will work commence?
Timescales for the build are still speculative but it would be hoped that building work would commence in 2023/2024.
It is the vision of the project team that the sector support will be provided in two phases:
Phase 1: Start 2021
- Online support network. Peer to peer support through private Facebook group.
- Training and development opportunities through webinars and face to face workshops (when permitted) in conjunction with The Seed Pod in Aberdeen and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, both of whom are developing similar centres to the one proposed in Kilmarnock.
- Supply chain and procurement opportunities – looking at growth and development opportunities including export building on Ayrshire provenance.
- Signposting service to increase access to support for food and drink businesses across Ayrshire.
- Access to and support from a development chef to drive product development and innovation.
- Potential to look at issues around sustainable/affordable packaging.
Phase 2: Construction 2023/24
- Building and opening of the Centre of Excellence and incubation units.
- Development of industrial units’ space.
9. Who will use the advanced manufacturing units?
The advanced manufacturing units are for manufacturing businesses wishing to occupy modern industrial premises to allow them to grow their business. Enquiries will be welcome from existing East Ayrshire businesses as well as inward investment companies who want to relocate or expand in the area. The units will have the ability to be sub-divided into smaller units to allow for maximum flexibility.