Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has announced a new £250,000 capital investment programme to help small independent grocers and retailers in Scotland to introduce Food-to-Go stations within their stores.

The fund aims to cover 50% of the cost of remodelling the store, as well as new equipment and displays, to support local retailers in today’s highly competitive climate. Criteria and guidelines are currently being developed, with the programme intending to launch in early 2018.

Commenting on the programme, Fergus Ewing said: “Many of our small independent and family-run convenience stores are operating in a very competitive trading environment and are having to adapt and innovate to continue to meet changing consumer behaviours. One such way of doing this is through the introduction of food-to-go stations, which entice customers into the store and generate a new income stream.”

The Food-to-Go sector is one the fastest growing for independent retailers. A recent IGD forecast estimated that Food-to-Go will be worth £23.5bn by 2022, up from £17.4bn in 2017.

The NFRN welcomes the announcement of the Rural Economy Secretary and will publish further information on the fund in due course.

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