A farm which has plans to become the first Scottish producer of buffalo mozzarella is among eleven projects to receive a share of £3.6m.
Projects across Scotland have been awarded a share of the Scottish government fund, enabling companies to invest in infrastructure, upgrade or replace facilities and purchase new equipment.
The Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme awards hopes to support Scotland's food and drink industry.
The industry's long-term ambition is to double its value to £30 billion in the next 12 years.
Among those to receive a slice of the grant is The Buffalo Farm in Kirkcadly, which has been awarded over £500,000 from the scheme.
A 4000sq metre facility located at an old dairy farm will become the new home for a dedicated milking parlour, processing plant and sheds for the new herd of dairy Buffalo.
The official planning application for the facility will be submitted soon and the successful grant funding now allows the business to finalise their business plans.
Steve Mitchell from The Buffalo Farm, said the business has travelled thousands of miles across Europe and has linked with a food specialist from Italy to help.
“We have carried out extensive research, travelling thousands of miles around Europe to understand exactly what is involved in the farming and processing of a herd of dairy Buffalo, as well as understanding the best business strategies for bringing the product to market,” Mr Mitchell said.
“We are looking to start the building programme this autumn and have the sheds and milking parlour completed by early 2019, so we are under a bit of pressure to get things moving quickly.
“We have therefore strengthened our team by linking up with Maurizio Brugnoli who has become our New Product Development Director and will head up the development of the Mozzarella project.”
Mr Brugnoli has worked in various prestigious restaurants in Italy and Scotland. The farm says he will bring a experience and contacts in the importing and distributing of Italian products throughout Scotland.
Mr Mitchell added: “Maurizio shares our passion and drive for the project having had his own long-term ambition to produce mozzarella in Scotland, making him a fantastic fit with our plans.”
The Buffalo Farm has been featured in the second series of the BBC’s ‘This Farming Life’ last year, and has also been selected to feature in the forthcoming series due to air later in the year.