22nd June 2001

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

 

The region’s small food businesses will gather in Lincoln next week to celebrate their involvement with the university’s FAST project.

 

The one-day event on Monday 25th June will review the successes of the project and will be attended by the 13 small businesses (SMEs) involved and the project partners.

 

The project which began with tailor-made short courses for managers in January has been funded by the European Social Fund ADAPT programme to address concerns in the food sector and help ensure long term sustainability and profitability in Lincolnshire.  It involved both the training courses and on-going consultancy within the businesses.

 

The food industry in Lincolnshire employs 5.5% of the county’s total workforce and is expected to undergo restructuring. The management and systems thinking nature of the courses is intended to help companies anticipate change and have abilities to adapt.

 

 “Although the businesses were all different, they found that they were all experiencing similar problems so it provided a good opportunity for networking and learning from each other,” commented Rebecca Herron, Director of the university’s Community Operational Research Unit.

 

Jan Jansen owner of the Chocolate Shop in Billingborough, commented. “Although we were one of the smaller businesses employing four, I soon realised that the other businesses were facing the same challenges. The courses and the consultancy have really helped me focus on which direction the business should grow in.”

 

Project partners include Business Link, Middle England Fine Foods and LAGAT (Lincolnshire and Gainsborough Adult Training Centre).  The project has had strong support from the East Midlands University for Industry (UfI) who introduced participants to their LearnDirect facilities as part of the project.

 

For further information about the project please contact Rebecca Herron on 01522 886394.

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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry,

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042

e-mail: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

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