Funding received to support the Yorkshire bioeconomy sector

A man in a white lab coat works with a complex machine in the Yorkshire bioeconomy sector

The Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) has been awarded additional funding of £500,000 to drive the growth of the emerging Yorkshire bioeconomy sector.

The BDC will be supporting businesses across Yorkshire that deliver innovative products, processes or services related to renewable, biological resources as part of the Bioeconomy Growth Programme. The funding has been received from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The BDC is now able to offer 36 pre-funded projects for eligible bioeconomy businesses in Yorkshire by 2022.

The Yorkshire bioeconomy sector and SMEs

The production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, energy, chemicals and other materials is referred to as the bioeconomy.

The Yorkshire region has a large and thriving bioeconomy. A Government-commissioned Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) of the bioeconomy in the north of England revealed there are over 16,000 bioeconomy related companies in the north of England, with a total annual turnover of over £91 billion, employing around 415,000 people. The UK’s bioeconomy is estimated to be worth £220 billion gross value added (GVA) and the Government’s recently published bioeconomy strategy has set ambitious targets to double its size by 2030.

To receive the new support, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must be located in the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding region.

This follows on from the BDC’s previous popular business support programmes which have helped more than 300 local SMEs since 2012 and this funding will complement current support that has been already offered to Leeds City Region SMEs since 2019. Examples of previous assists delivered by the BDC range from lab-based optimisation of anaerobic digestion,  plant growth trials, and product shelf-life assessment to desk-based and consultancy work on food waste valorisation.

Joe Ross, Director at the Biorenewables Development Centre said:

“We are delighted, through this new ERDF award, to be able to continue to offer support to bioeconomy businesses across the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding area. The bioeconomy represents an important part of the region’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and create an innovative and sustainable economy across the North of England. The BDC has the facilities and expertise to provide businesses with the help they need to develop new bio-based processes and products and this ERDF award provides the resources needed to make this happen.”

To find out more about how the funding can help your business and the wider Yorkshire bioeconomy sector, please contact Dr Tom North, Business Development Unit Manager via 01904 328056 or

Find out more about funding available to businesses in York and North Yorkshire.

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