FOOD and drink manufacturers in south Shropshire can benefit from European Regional Development Fund funded support supplied by Harper Adams University and Aston University.

Ludlow and south Shropshire has shown itself to be a hub for food and drink businesses with a global outlook.

Great success stories include Orchard Valley Food that has its headquarters in Tenbury and has customers as far away as Australia, the Ludlow Nut Company that is selling its cereals overseas including the Far East and Kudos Blends in Cleobury Mortimer that specialises in ingredients.

There are many other smaller companies in the area providing jobs for hundreds of people.

The AGRI project is aimed at helping food and drink manufacturers based in Shropshire and Herefordshire as well as companies in the agri-tech sector.

It is fully funded and is open to any business with a turnover of up to £40m and 249 employees.

So far, the project has helped 68 local businesses to grow and increase their profits using proven technology and processes. Participants are given tailored support on a one-to-one basis to directly address their business needs.

They can also access a number of free tools, developed specifically for food and drink manufacturers, which help them to maximise their profits and manage their supply chain.

Supported businesses range from one-man bands working out of their kitchen through well-known breweries to wholesale food manufacturers supplying major supermarkets.

“The AGRI Project is a fantastic resource for the region’s food, drink and agri-tech businesses,” said Martin Grant, the AGRI project manager at Aston University.

As the project is part funded by the ERDF, it allows small businesses to access valuable support and tools that they may not be able to afford.” said Mr Grant. The other main presenter will be Dr Richard Fallon.

There is a free lunch briefing on the project from 12-2pm on Tuesday, May 21 at University Centre Shrewsbury.

People are strongly advised to book in advance for the event. For further information at or contact Martin Grant on 0121 204 4652.