Coca-Cola has been in the food and drink industry for a very long time. For much of it, we’ve not only worked to innovate and provide people with more of their favourite drinks, but we’ve looked at ways we can make the sector more accessible and inclusive for everyone else.
In Ireland, our Thrive Project, which works to inspire and nurture the nation’s next generation of ambitious food companies, is a great example of that. And now we’re part of a project that will soon make great new opportunities in the food and drink sector available to those whose careers are just beginning.
A new project led by Kildare County Council, the Athy Food, Drink and Skills Innovation Hub will become the region’s leading centre for educational and entrepreneurial excellence in the food and drink sector. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the hub will help to empower local food-based entrepreneurs and upskill younger generations and the currently unemployed by offering the space, training and tools they need to succeed.
- A ‘Skills Hub’, with a 16-station kitchen that will be home to innovative programmes and accredited career training programmes designed for food entrepreneurs, industry professionals and chefs.
- The ‘Community Timeshare Incubator Kitchen’ will be a platform for culinary entrepreneurs to develop and expand.
- A ‘Community Food Discover Centre’ will enable chefs and nutritionists to educate food companies, retailers and restauranteurs about the science of nutrition; while also being a place to educate local community groups about healthy diets.
- Finally, a Co-Working Zone – consisting of eight workstations and three private meeting rooms – will allow emerging entrepreneurs to connect with their peers and mentors, while providing access to specialist resources. The co-working zone will also include a ‘Food Learners Lounge’ and a study space.
“As an industry leader,
“With such a huge interest growing in the food and drink sector, the County Council identified a need for facilities and training that will help support entrepreneurs develop food and drink-based business ideas as well as help people from the county develop culinary and other food and drink related skills.”
As with Navan’s Boyne Valley Food Hub project, the Athy Food, Drink and Skills Innovation Hub will benefit from a partnership and outreach arrangement laid out by the Mid-East Enterprise Plan. The facility is sure to be a mecca for economic development and job creation in Kildare in the many years to come.
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