George F White has hit a major milestone helping the region’s rural businesses to secure £10m in grant funding to grow and improve their ventures.
Supporting rural businesses is an expanding area for George F White, with a considerable rise in enquiries from North East businesses seeking our expertise in applying for funding grants to take advantage of the opportunities available.
Most recently, the team navigated The RDPE Growth Programme on behalf of Northumberland-based Coastal Grains, successfully winning a substantial grant of £750,000.
These game-changing funds are supporting the continued growth of Coastal Grains, a cooperative of over 100 farms across the county, and have been invested in new equipment, technology and training ahead of the season’s harvest at the end of July, securing a number of local jobs in the process.
A large proportion of the funds have been used to purchase new silos, increasing storage capacity to 135,000 tonnes, allowing grain from all farms in the cooperative to be stored at a single site. This will relieve the need for third party storage, reducing costs and the environmental impact with less vehicle movement.
New conveyors, intake systems and a batch dryer to cope with specialist grains produced for key clients including McVitie’s and Grant’s whisky have also been introduced, as well as other works to improve operations. The enhancements will allow Coastal Grains to welcome more farmers into the cooperative and meet the changing needs of its members.
The George F White team also supported with planning applications to gain consent for the new additions to the site.
Jamie Oliver, Associate at George F White, said: “We are so invested in the businesses we support and are always thrilled to see them awarded with funds to reach their objectives, develop and improve. Their successes feel like our successes. In recent years more businesses have been coming forward keen to tap into funding available, and by working closely with them, successful applications have driven £10m back into the North East economy, all while helping them thrive."
Stephanie Linnell, Partner at George F White, added: “Forward-thinking, growing businesses like Coastal Grains are brilliant to work with as they are incredibly innovative and consistently looking ahead at what the next big thing is, which is exciting to be part of and we can add a lot of value. This milestone funding win of £750,000 is a huge achievement for both teams and a credit to their hard work and dedication to their cooperative.”
Graeme Wyld, CEO at Coastal Grains, said: “George F White has been a trusted advisor of ours for almost 10 years and crucial to our growth. Following this latest funding we’re now on phase 13 of expansion and it wouldn’t have been possible without the team. Their proactive approach to flagging new grant opportunities and navigating the whole process on our behalf is invaluable.
“Farming makes up a large proportion of jobs in the county and we want to continue growing as long as it’s in the best interests of our members; future-proofing our operations, upskilling our workforce, supporting the local farming economy and securing local jobs. We’ve developed a national client base, with Northumberland grain used in products from best-selling biscuits to well-known whisky, flying the flag for produce grown in our region.”
Coastal Grains is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as it was founded in 1982, storing and handling grain from six local farms after their first harvest. After continued expansion the cooperative now includes 110 farms across Northumberland.
Business can now apply for the ‘Adding Value Grant’ which is open to producers to add value to eligible agricultural products after they have been harvested or reared. Those interested can contact George F White for support with the application process.