News Local

Agri-food incubator funds sought

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today


Both the Municipality of Cramahe and Northumberland County have endorsed a "collaborative agreement" to proceed to seek funding for a proposed agri-food incubator and niche food processing facility in Colborne.

Cramahe is the "lead applicant" assuming the responsibility for fiscal accountability and all other reporting if they are successful in receiving Ontario Trillium Foundation operational and staff funding, and the county will oversee the budget.

Other sources of funding include a request of $165,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund for operating funds and a possible $100,000 for equipment, $150,000 from the county itself, and$100,000 for equipment from the Northumberland CFDC.

Construction of a building is currently planned for the municipally-owned Colborne Industrial Park and the proposed incubator would "occupy 15,000 square feet" of it. The facility would be visible from the 401 "for a significant degree of profile," states a staff report. It will also have solar panels on its roof.

"Easily accessed and the preferred site of the local agricultural community," it continues, "the facility would provide for rental of cooking, chilling, freezing and packaging equipment to the agricultural/business community on a cost-recovery basis.

"In order to insure quality of product, relationships are in place with both educational institutions (area colleges) which provide food processing expertise as well as public health to support regulatory and safety requirements."

In addition assistance in marketing, pricing, etc. would be assisted with an office housing the Business Advisory Centre of Northumberland in the same building.

An advisory panel would be the governance model.

The incubator facility space would be leased.


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