Riverside Inverclyde (ri) launched its plans for Taste Inverclyde, a platform built to promote independent restaurants, cafés, bars, food and drink production and food tourism across Inverclyde, on Tuesday 28 November.
Held at the iconic Custom House in Greenock, the event was co-hosted with Scotland Food and Drink, the membership organisation tasked with driving responsible growth in the sector through collaborative partnership.
With over 40 businesses in attendance and a further 30 registering an interest, the launch gave an overview to the national food and drink sector and explained in detail the role and opportunities open to Inverclyde.
Andrew Bowman, head of business investment at ri said of the launch: “Taste Inverclyde is a project that ri has been working on with Scotland Food and Drink since December 2016. This launch event has been fantastic and has been really well received, with the local businesses in attendance understanding and wanting to contribute. This is a collaborative approach we are adopting, in order to deliver a first class food and drink experience for locals, an increase in food tourism and further growth in manufacturing food and drink produce in Inverclyde, leading to job creation.”
Identified by ri as a key growth sector for Inverclyde, the food and drink sector is currently valued at £14.5bn across Scotland with ambitions to double this to £30bn by 2030. Inverclyde has been significantly underrepresented of late, with one of the lowest number of food and drink businesses of any local authority area in Scotland.
Fiona Richmond, head of regional food at Scotland Food and Drink said: “A huge congratulations to Riverside Inverclyde and to Andrew and his team on the launch of Taste Inverclyde. Scotland Food and Drink is delighted to support this event and have been so impressed with what has been achieved so far. It is clear that is this is just the beginning of many more great things to come for the area, and we look forward to further supporting the growth of food and drink across Inverclyde.”
A Taste Inverclyde website has been created to deliver a local food and drink platform for Inverclyde residents and visitors, aimed at promoting local eateries and the produce that they sell.
At the outset, Taste Inverclyde will showcase independent restaurants, cafés and bars with the aim to expand to include street food, hotels and food producers throughout 2018.
Taste Inverclyde will also launch a collaborative forum for manufacturers, restaurants, cafes and farms within Inverclyde to come together to discuss, innovate and create local produce that can then be sold across the UK and abroad. The first meeting will be held on 25 January 2018.
Riverside Inverclyde also shared its plans for Baker Street, a £1.8m dedicated food and drink enterprise hub in Greenock which is due for completion at the end of 2018, which will offer kitchen units, storage, hot desk and meeting space for manufacturers.
The Taste Inverclyde website will launch to the public on Monday 11 December 2017 and the website address is www.tasteinverclyde.co.uk
Any food and drink companies or individuals that are interesting in learning more about Taste Inverclyde should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Taste Inverclyde can also be followed across Social Media on facebook, twitter and Instagram.