Project HELIX, which delivers technical and commercial support to food and drink manufacturers in Wales, was named overall winner and winner of the Food and Tourism category at the Wales Rural Network Awards 2022.
The Food Technology Centre, based in Llangefni delivers Project HELIX alongside the two other food centres in Wales which form Food Innovation Wales.
The Celebration of Rural Wales event, which took place at the Royal Welsh Showground on 9 and 10 June, provided the opportunity to look at the achievements of RDP projects, the difference they have made to people and communities and look at the Welsh Government’s future approach to the rural economy.
RDP funding has supported projects in Wales for many years and it will come to end in 2023 following the UK’s exit from the EU. The objectives of the RDP have included increasing the productivity, diversity and efficiency of farming businesses, encouraging sustainable land management practices and promoting strong, sustainable rural economic growth.
Project HELIX picked up the award in the Food and Tourism category as well as the overall award for its achievements to date. The project has supported food businesses through upskilling the workforce, supporting new business start-ups and helping businesses grow and thrive. This has delivered an impact of over £215m to the Welsh food & drink industry and led to the creation of 485 jobs and safeguarded more than 2,600.
Martin Jardine, Director of Agri Food, explained:
“These awards recognise the valuable contribution that Project HELIX has made to the Welsh food and drink industry. By championing innovation, efficiency and a strategic approach to business, Project HELIX has supported Welsh companies to grow and compete more effectively in an ever increasingly competitive marketplace. We are delighted that the project has had a direct impact on businesses in each county, across North Wales”
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “It is very appropriate as RDP support comes to an end, we celebrate the great work and efforts of individuals, groups and organisations across Wales in making the most of this funding to help people and communities. “There have been many successful projects and I want to congratulate each and every one of them, including the four receiving awards at the Celebration of Rural Wales event, for the important contributions they have
made. “As we develop a truly Welsh approach to the rural economy going forward, it is crucial we learn from these projects and build on them.”