PLANS for the build of a food and drink innovation hub and wider innovation park on land adjacent to Queen Margaret University (QMU) have taken a ‘major’ step forward, the learning institute has said.
It comes after a report to East Lothian Council approved the partnership between the local authority and university to take forward delivery of the plans, which would to create a hub focussing on food and drink related innovation within the context of health and wellbeing.
The £40 million facility will include serviced laboratories and office accommodation, as well as facilities for events. It will also accommodate the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, as well as offering access to equipment, knowledge and skills to support product development and launches.
The flagship hub will focus on food and drink related innovation within the context of health and wellbeing, and will include serviced laboratories and office accommodation as well as facilities for events.
It will also accommodate the facilities of the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, and will offer access to equipment, knowledge and skills to support product development and product launches.
To be located next to the QMU campus on the boundaries of both Edinburgh and Midlothian at the Edinburgh Innovation Park, preparatory works are already underway on a new junction off the A1 to improve accessibility and connectivity to and from the food and drink innovation hub and wider innovation park.
Sir Paul Grice, principal of Queen Margaret University, said, “This is great news for East Lothian, and for Scotland’s food and drink sector, especially as it relates to society’s health and wellbeing. The Hub and Innovation Park will aid economic recovery from the impacts of the pandemic by bringing quality jobs and investment to the area, and by supporting an important sector through research, knowledge exchange and skills training. With our joint venture partners East Lothian Council, we look forward to realising our vision of a strategic, sustainable development that will promote inclusive growth.”
Scottish Government economy secretary Kate Forbes, added, “The Scottish Government’s £300 million investment in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal will help deliver sustainable jobs across East Lothian and beyond. Good health and wellbeing are crucially important as we recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, so I welcome this major step forward for the food and drink innovation hub. This will help provide people with the skills they need to gain new opportunities and ensure new and current businesses are supported in investing in innovative ideas.”