FOODMEK, the Fife food processing equipment maker, plans to double its turnover and increase its workforce after securing Scottish Government backing.

The Tayport manufacturer is activating the ambitious growth plan after agreeing £500,000 funding with the Scottish Loan Scheme.

It intends to use the loan from the SLS, which is administered by the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, to significantly raise both its head count, now 32, and turnover, currently in seven figures.

The loan, £300,000 of which comes in the first tranche, will enable Foodmek to invest in new equipment, innovation and additional skilled engineers in its design, office and factory operations, it said.

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The loan’s second instalment of £200,000 will be paid by Scottish Enterprise if Foodmek meets agreed targets by May next year.

Scot Kelly, Foodmek managing director, said the plan includes recruiting and training more engineers through apprenticeships.

Mr Kelly said: “When I arrived at the company I was struck by the excellent quality of its staff, many of whom have served it well for decades.

“Our aim is to create a renaissance for Foodmek by forming the new generation of highly-skilled staff using internally-generated cutting-edge research and development to create sector-leading innovation in order to win new customers across existing and new sectors.”

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He said the investment has “pressed the start button” on the firm’s next stage, adding: “Over time we see Foodmek spurring the economy of Tayport and beyond and attracting skilled people to the area.”

Kerry Sharp, SIB director, said: “Foodmek is an excellent example of a forward-thinking and progressive Scottish business.

“We are particularly impressed with its collaborative and innovative culture and its desire to develop its people as well as its products.

“We fully support Foodmek’s growth plans.”