The project will build on the strengths of the food and drink sector in the region, providing essential development space that will support the creation of start-ups and accelerate the growth of small businesses. The business case received approval in January 2019 and construction is due to start in 2020.
I welcome progress towards the implementation of the project. My region accounts for 17 per cent of the food and drink sector’s gross value added and 18 per cent of its employment. Excluding whisky, the region contributes around 20 per cent of Scotland’s output, approaching 25 per cent of Scotland’s primary agricultural output, and 50 per cent of its fish landings. In contrast to the innovation hub, the Scottish Government has announced the good food nation bill four times since 2016 and we are still waiting for its introduction. The innovation hub will be a huge step forward for the north-east and for Scotland as a whole, so will the minister commit that it will be delivered on time?
As far as I am aware, the project should be running to plan—I have not heard anything different. If that changes, I am sure that the member will be made aware.