The Food Enterprise Advisory Support Team (FEAST) is delivered by the Food & Drink Forum and offers food and drink businesses a range of funded support services including technical support, business mentoring and access to grant funding.

The Food & Drink Forum has secured ERDF funding to offer a range of useful services to food and drink manufacturers over the next three years, including grant funding, business mentoring, industry events, technical support and technical apprentices.

Grant Funding

The Food & Drink Forum has secured grant funding for eligible food and drink manufacturing businesses looking to purchase new equipment to help them grow and create jobs.

Minimum spend = £2,500/maximum spend = £80,000

Technical Support

Eligible businesses could receive two days of support at no cost from the Food & Drink Forum’s technical team. These industry experts could assist with all technical issues such as shelf life extension, labelling, nutritional advice, factory layout, product development, food standards and implementation, accreditation support, food safety and much more.

Business Mentoring

Eligible businesses will have access to industry experts, fully subsidised, to receive mentoring in any aspect of business. Food & Drink Forum mentors have a wealth of experience in running food and drink manufacturing businesses and are keen to share their knowledge with you.

Technical Apprentices

Throughout the course of the project the Food & Drink Forum will employ a number of technical apprentices to help businesses to bridge the skills gap in the sector. The apprentices will receive training from the Forum’s team of technical experts and will gain hands-on experience undertaking work placements. Food & Drink Forum apprentices will be available to enter any business on placement at no cost to the business.

Industry Events

The Food & Drink Forum, along with industry partners, will run a number of industry-specific events throughout the course of the project; bringing like-minded businesses together to share knowledge, best practice and experience.


In order to be eligible to access services through the FEAST project, businesses must be:

  • A food and drink manufacturer
  • Based in D2N2, NEP or SEMLEP Areas
  • An SME Business – applies to grant funding only
  • Eligible D2N2, NEP and SEMLEP areas include:

Amber Valley Borough

Bolsover District

Chesterfield Borough

Derby City

Derbyshire County

Derbyshire Dales District

Erewash Borough

High Peak Borough

North East Derbyshire District

South Derbyshire District

Ashfield District

Bassetlaw District

Broxtowe District

Gedling Borough

Mansfield District

Newark and Sherwood District

Nottingham City

Nottinghamshire County

Rushciffle Borough

Daventry District

Kettering Borough

Corby Borough

East Northamptonshire District

Northampton Borough

Northamptonshire County

South Northants District

Aylesbury Vale District

Bedford Borough

Central Bedfordshire

Cherwell District

Luton Borough

Milton Keynes

​To access any of the above services, or for further information on the FEAST project, please call the Food & Drink Forum on 0115 975 8810 or email enquiries@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk.

ERDF Funding 

The FEAST project is receiving up to £3.5m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 – 2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit: www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.