Boyne Valley Food Hub
Boyne Valley Food Hub is a flagship project of Boyne Valley Food Innovation District to develop an innovation-rich building and stimulus project to accelerate growth and yield business impact through collaboration, innovation, and clustering, thereby facilitating the development of scalable, sustainable and profitable food businesses across the Mideast and Northeast regions.
The agri food sector makes a powerful contribution to the economy of Ireland’s Mid-East and North East. Therein, the Boyne Valley region has been synonymous with food production and trade dating as far back as 10,000 years ago. The region typifies the ambition of Food Wise 2025 and Food Vision 2030 – ‘Local Roots Global Reach’ and acts as a base for some of Ireland’s leading indigenous and high growth food businesses – Largo Foods (Ireland’s leading snack food company), Dawn Farm, Meade Potato Company (over 650,000 sq ft, 240 employees and 100 product lines), Kerry Foods, Lir Chocolates, Epicom (full turnkey ambient food manufacturing service for clean label functional foods with 300 products and exporting to China, Scandinavia and the EU) and East Coast Bakehouse to name just a few. They are joined by a growing crop of micro food businesses blazing a trail to market through the efforts and support of Local Enterprise Offices across the Mid-East and North East.
Since 2015, Boyne Valley Food Innovation District has been building an ecosystem framework that joins the forces of these leading-edge companies levering cooperation with each other and uniting with public sector drivers for food, innovation, regional development and education at national and regional level.
Based on extensive engagement and industry foresight, Boyne Valley Food Hub packages a series of industry responsive deliverables into an exceptional bundle of production, innovative and knowledge facilities offering an intense immersion in the food sector. Specifically it will deliver
- 9 Food Grade units available for start-up and scaling food businesses
- A Timeshare Community Kitchen
- A food specific co-working and knowledge lab to create higher levels of connectivity, collaboration and innovation in the food and drink sector
- Food Innovation and Research Lab
- Onsite Food Technologist
- Onsite Food Sector Business Development Manager
- Food Innovation Programmes
KEY MARKETS – The key markets for Boyne Valley Food Hub include:
- Startup food entrepreneurs from an 80km radius of Mid-East and North East (including Dublin and Northern Ireland) who may not have the initial seed capital to invest in a startup production facility of their own
- Nascent food businesses who have established at the kitchen table who require dedicated production capacity as their sales volumes increase
- Growing food SMEs who wish to scale-up or develop new products in response to proven market demand. This also includes food companies from Dublin. Méabh Conaghan, Senior Advisor, Food Entrepreneurship & Food HPSU, Enterprise Ireland is clear ‘Our experience in food HPSU is that appropriate space is difficult to find across the whole country (especially Dublin).
- We are specifically positioning the project as a business base for UK and Northern agrifood companies. As highlighted in the Irish Independent– the Northern Ireland agri-food industry is “in grave peril”. John McCann of Co Down firm Willowbrook Foods said the uncertainty meant he had put off plans to invest £1m in the business.
- Food companies and start up food entrepreneurs from across the Mid-East and North East regions who will benefit from BVFID’s innovation supports
- Interns – students in food science, innovation, marketing, business, quality etc who can benefit from one of 60 work placements as part of their studies
- The farming community who wish to add value to their primary produce
- Training agencies who wish to provide food related training.
- Educators – 3rd level colleges, VET, HE, adult & lifelong learning and schools
- NGOs including environmental and special interest groups
Boyne Valley Food Innovation District (BVFID) is overwhelmingly endorsed by cross regional partners and national stakeholders;
|PUBLIC BODIES||Meath County Council and the LEOs of Meath, Louth, Kildare and Wicklow, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, IDA, Teagasc|
|KNOWLEDGE||DkIT, DIT, Maynooth University via Maynooth Works, UCD, Regional Skills Forum|
|INDUSTRY||Industry leading entrepreneurs including Ray Coyle, Michael Carey, Larry Murrin, Owen Brennan, John Cunningham|