With Resource Consent granted, the land purchased and funding confirmed, a start will be made on building Hawke’s Bay’s new food innovation hub, ‘Foodeast’, in September.
The establishment in July of a new commercial entity that will manage the construction and then the operation of the facility, has enabled the handover of the project from Hastings District Council and the Foodeast Establishment Board to the newly formed company.
The food, beverage and food-technology industries will be able to contract services at Foodeast to support them to develop and commercialise new products, for both the national and international markets. There will also be commercial and industrial spaces available for lease, hot-desking options and meeting and collaboration spaces, all built around a café and surrounded by landscaped grounds.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says Hastings District Council, which has facilitated the project to date, is “extremely pleased to see it take its next steps. I am very excited to see the projects that are developed through Foodeast.
“We are one of the most important food growing regions in New Zealand and there is no end to how far it can be developed. We only have to look around at the innovators we have here, businesses like Rockit, Bostock, First Light, The Apple Press, Watties, Progressive Meats . . . barely a month goes by without one of our region’s companies making it into national or international news for their successes. Through this project I have no doubt that we will see many more”.
Inaugural board chairman Craig Foss says this next stage is “very exciting”.
“On completion Foodeast will provide a modern state of the art innovation centre, where food industry players can base themselves, or meet, collaborate and innovate. This will be a step change for our food and beverage industry; one that will foster product innovation to enable our industries to develop new offerings for both the New Zealand and international markets.”
The project’s three investors are Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) 67 per cent, and Hastings District Council and Progressive Meats (16 per cent each).
28 July 2021
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