Greater Manchester has a growing number of independent food and drink businesses providing a wide range of products and services for a diverse customer-base. The development of food enterprise supports sustainable growth, and helps the region to achieve their aim of establishing “a thriving and productive economy in all parts of Greater Manchester”.

The second topic of the FC4EU peer review that is about to start next week in Greater Manchester, tackles this concept of food enterprise in the region and its related support.

The regional context is shaped by wide range of food businesses and small-scale B2B businesses that have a potential to grow and develop, but not equally shaped when it comes to access to financing and support.

The peer review team will evaluate this issue, trying to support the region in better understanding the support needs of food enterprises in the region and identifying new investment opportunities.

The region has made remarkable steps in this direction and is eager to replicate them, under the umbrella of the Business Growth Hub, a regional support structure partly sponsored through European Regional Development Funding.

In what concerns the food enterprise in the region the Business Growth Hub has a dedicated support initiative: Recipes4Success designed to provide specialist support specifically for Greater Manchester-based food and drink SMEs. The programme offers workshops and networking events to help food and drink businesses succeed. Workshops focus on a broad range of areas including information on food safety systems, bringing a product to market, and meeting supermarket buyers.

The host region is also interested in enquiring any opportunities that may result from setting up a regional brand or focusing on high quality artisan products.