East Lothian Food & Drink, the leadership organisation for the county’s food and drink businesses, has secured a second five-year term as a Business Improvement District (BID) following a resoundingly positive vote by members.

This ground-breaking second term for the only food and drink BID in Scotland underlines the important role it will play at a critical time in the post-COVID recovery of the sector.

First created following a positive vote in 2016, East Lothian Food & Drink Business Improvement District in partnership with East Lothian Council and Queen Margaret University, has worked to promote East Lothian food and drink businesses. This successful renewal vote will allow East Lothian Food & Drink to continue to build on the solid foundation and promote the high quality and sustainable food and drink of the county.

Business Improvement Districts must hold a ballot after five years to ask members if they agree to its continuation and to contribute to it through a compulsory levy. The renewal ballot for East Lothian Food & Drink closed on 1st July with almost 90% of members who voted agreeing to its continuation.

Chris Luca, Chair of East Lothian Food & Drink said: “I am delighted that members have voted emphatically for the continuation of the Scotland’s only food and drink Business Improvement District and that they clearly see the value of working together. As a local food and drink producer, the East Lothian Food & Drink BID has provided us with a great opportunity to work together. Following the turbulence we have experienced since March 2020, I am excited by the vital role East Lothian Food & Drink will play in the rebuilding of the sector and putting East Lothian Food & Drink on the map.”

East Lothian Provost, Councillor John McMillan, said: “I am thrilled that our businesses have voted to continue the collaborative and vital work of the East Lothian Food & Drink Business Improvement District. As we move into the second half of 2021 and the easing of restrictions, the emphasis on working together and promoting our fantastic food and drink to a wider marketplace has never been more important. Now my challenge is which East Lothian tipple to choose to put in my glass and what to eat with it to celebrate another five years of Scotland’s Food and Drink County!"

East Lothian Council and partner Queen Margaret University have committed to support the BID over the next five years.

Published: Friday, 2nd July 2021