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Shotley vineyard boost

23:57 18 February 2004

A SHOTLEY vineyard could produce up to 100,000 more bottles each year and a jobs boost after securing a government grant.

Witenagemot Wines has won a Processing and Marketing Grant (PMG) which could see up to £150,000 poured into the business.
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A SHOTLEY vineyard could produce up to 100,000 more bottles each year and a jobs boost after securing a government grant.

Witenagemot Wines has won a Processing and Marketing Grant (PMG) which could see up to £150,000 poured into the business.

The project will also see the creation of ten new jobs.

Proprietor, Stephen Williams said: "We will produce a purpose built winery. At the moment we only have a temporary facility courtesy of a local farmer. This will give us the chance to move forward and produce more in a commercial building."

The total awarded to the company depends on the capital cost of the project. Awards provide 30 per cent of eligible costs of new buildings and new equipment.

Last month more than £500,000 was allocated to projects in the East of England by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The aim of their project-based schemes is to support the development of enterprising rural communities.

Michael Hyde Parker, Project Officer for Defra said: "The Processing and Marketing grant awarded to Witenagemot Wines will help to provide a new and up to date processing facility that will add value to the grape production of 15 vineyards in the region, who between them grow approximately 50 per cent of the region's grapes.

"The project will create 10 new jobs and will result in the development of new products."

Under the terms of the grant the project must be up and running by the grape harvest in September.

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