Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's Food Technology Centre has been unveiled as a key partner in a £21m Welsh Government initiative, in what is a major boost to the North Wales food industry and economy.

Project HELIX will spearhead academic research into global food production, trends and waste management to help manufacturers across Wales increase production and efficiency.

The North Wales based centre joins Food Centre Wales in Ceredigion and Zero2Five Food Industry Centre, based at Cardiff Metropolitan University, under the umbrella of Food Innovation Wales to implement the scheme.

Funded through the Rural Development Programme it is expected to create 370 new jobs across the different centres, while safeguarding a further 2,000 and contributing over £100m to the Welsh economy.

The research will focus on three key areas: innovation, efficiency and strategy. Over the next five years, the centres will use these strands as a 'triple helix' support model for Welsh food and drink producers.

Consideration will also be made of new challenges and opportunities facing the industry as a result of the UK's decision to leave the EU, and these findings will provide Welsh producers with the best opportunity for growth and economic impact.

Project HELIX was unveiled at BlasCymru/TasteWales event at the Celtic Manor Resort, Wales's first international food and drink trade event, which hosted over a hundred food producers, as they explored business opportunities with global buyers from as far afield as the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates.

Martin Jardine, Food Technology Centre Manager at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai said: 


I'm delighted the Food Technology Centre is going to be playing a major role in what is a huge opportunity to put Wales at the forefront of food and drink research. In addition to the academic element, Project HELIX also represents a major boost to the wider North Wales economy, and I very much look forward to working closely with partners from across the region in ensuring the industry in Wales has a very bright future.