A digital dairy project aimed at creating 600 new jobs in Scotland and Cumbria has received more than £21 million in funding. For a region that produces nearly 2 billion litres of milk each year, the digital dairy value chain is expected to generate 60 million pounds of additional revenue per year.
The project aims to provide a research and business innovation platform for producing and processing advanced, sustainable, and high-value dairy products.
In addition to helping the region’s dairy industry decarbonize, it will also help cultivate skilled labor in the region to create new products and new ways of working. These are special for the region but are also globally relevant in best practice and will change the perception of dairy products as high-value products.
The Scottish Rural College (SRUC) project will also work with farmers to develop sensing and data management technologies and infrastructure to support the innovation and development of local dairy companies.
The £21.3m projects also aim to nurture young dairy entrepreneurs and teach and train new skills and capabilities for the sector.
After obtaining backing from the UKRI Strength in Places Fund, the project will be based at SRUC’s Barony campus near Dumfries and sites in Cumbria and across southwest Scotland.
Professor Wayne Powell, principal of SRUC, said the project would provide a world-class platform for business innovation in advanced, sustainable, high-value dairy production and processing.’
Jo Lappin, chief executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said that the project would help decarbonise the industry.
“The dairy industry is an important part of Cumbria’s economy, and we are therefore delighted that SRUC has received £21 million to support the sector here and in southwest Scotland. Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses.”