The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed a £7.3m EU-backed funding package to assist agri-food businesses and develop agricultural skills in Wales.
European Union funding will support BioInnovation Wales and Future Foods, two initiatives led by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, in partnership with Swansea University and BIC Innovation respectively.
Welsh Liberal Democrat President Cllr William Powell said:
This is a win for Wales.
BioInnovation Wales will address skills shortages in the agri-food and biotech sector offering bespoke, accredited qualifications to meet agricultural industry needs. Future Foods aims to support innovation and competiveness, harnessing science, technology and cutting-edge research, for Welsh food businesses seeking to grow their European and international export markets.
Wales has been winning investment because of the UK’s EU membership. Funding for projects such as these will likely be lost because of Brexit, especially a Hard Brexit which takes us out of the Single Market. This would be a disaster for Welsh agriculture. That is why I am campaigning for ‘A People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal.
Former Welsh Lib Dem MP for Ceredigion Mark Williams commented:
This welcome news illustrates just how important how EU membership has been and is for the economy of Ceredigion. Time after time we have benefited from funding from the EU, and the excellent work of IBERS illustrates that fact.
James Gibson-Watt, Welsh Lib Dem Cllr for Glasbury and an Aberystwyth University Agriculture graduate added:
At the very least, the Tories must stick to their promises and make sure they match every penny of lost EU funding for Welsh farming and the research and training providers that support agriculture.