HG Blake Awarded Agri-Tech Grant To Fund ‘Field To Fork’ Traceability IT System & New Offices
HG Blake’s plan to develop it’s Norfolk-based business with additional offices, a new IT system, and increased workforce, is a step closer thanks to a £36,954 grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
HG Blake will use the grant towards a £147,818 project at its base in Costessey near Norwich. The plan includes building a new modular office building to replace the existing offices, which were built to accommodate 7 staff and currently hold 16.
A new integrated IT system, to replace the current manual system for managing stock lists and processing orders has also been accounted for. The new digital stock management system will deliver full traceability from delivery through dispatch and billing, thus allowing for swifter processing and more transparency throughout the process.
Additionally, HG Blake plan to take on four new members of staff as part of the project.
Andrew Clarke, Managing Director of HG Blake, said: “We are delighted that through our relationship with Anglia Farmers, we have secured a New Anglia Agri-tech Grant to help contribute to the expansion and development of HG Blake’s facility, so that we can continue to develop a sustainable business for local farmers to send their livestock to be processed and serve butchers and meat wholesalers in the East Anglia region, in addition to London-based Smithfields Market.
“The contribution will go towards the acquisition of a new office building, an integrated IT System, and enable us to further contribute to the local employment economy by enabling us to create jobs for either skilled personnel or bring people up through our apprenticeship scheme.”
The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with support from New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and the local authorities covering this area. Grants are available to organisations looking to improve productivity and efficiency through investment in specialist equipment, new market and supply chain development and the application of Research and Development.
Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: HG Blake’s plans will help modernise their process, improve productivity and staff welfare and create jobs. Not only that, it will help provide a better service in linking farms with the wholesale market – a vital role in our rural economy. We’re confident in the success of this project and delighted to support it.”
Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative Board and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said: “This grant will enable HG Blake to improve its overall business efficiency while creating four new job roles and safeguarding existing jobs. I am looking forward to seeing the company’s continued growth and achievements and am pleased we have been able to support them with the Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.”