CenFRA secures future with funding

16 September 2010

The UK Centre for Food Robotics and Automation (CenFRA) has bagged funding from Yorkshire Forward until March 2011. The Doncaster based organisation welcomes the lifeline after finding itself under pressure to secure funding during recent turbulent financial conditions.

CenFRA says it is now in a position to implement its business plan, which has been formulated to help it achieve self-sufficiency.

Many MPs from within and outside the Yorkshire area had also expressed their concern over CenFRA's future. However, Yorkshire Forward says it can see the benefits CenFRA brings to the food and drink industry and has agreed to continue its financial support for the company.

CenFRA's managing director, Steve Blazye, said he was "thrilled" by Yorkshire Forward's decision to continue investing in the enterprise, and added: "We have been overwhelmed by the support received from both Yorkshire Forward and Members of Parliament, who have expressed their belief in the CenFRA initiative and the vital role it plays in helping ensure the long term sustainability of the UK food and drink manufacturing sector.

"We are confident that we will not only meet our chief business objectives but also strengthen our relationships with customers, suppliers and academic links."

Yorkshire is the UK's largest food and drink manufacturing sector with over 15,000 companies in the region, including brands such as Nestle, Heinz and Coca-Cola.

To support this crucial sector, Yorkshire Forward established CenFRA in 2007 to help producers attain a sustainable cost base by providing a fully independent resource to help the UK's food and drink manufacturers identify cost effective automated systems.

Yorkshire Forward's David Marlow said: "Yorkshire Forward is committed to supporting innovation and strongly believes that the manufacturing sector is the foundation to a strong economy. Yorkshire Forward is delighted that it has been able to continue to support CenFRA in its vital role in helping food manufacturing companies remain competitive and successful."

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