Set up new food and drink premises

Food and drink clusters

There are clusters of food production and research throughout the UK. For example:

  • Scotland combines rich natural resources with a long history of expertise in distilling, engineering, science and research.
  • Northern Ireland has high quality raw ingredients and world-class processing facilities, food security expertise and food research centres.
  • Lincolnshire has a great research and development capability for automated food processing. The Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology (LIAT) is a pioneer.
  • The north east of England is an area of expertise in plant-based manufacturing, with low cost industrial space and high research capability.

Find premises in the UK

You may find that being next to a particular port, or an airport, or a raw material supplier might be more important to you than being near a food and drink cluster.

If you’re setting up a larger manufacturing facility with several staff, you may find it easier to locate in areas with cheaper land or lower rental costs.

Compare prices for office or other space on commercial property search engines, such as Estates Gazette.


You can access a wide range of customs and tax benefits by expanding your business within a UK Freeport.

Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply and where you can access planning, infrastructure and innovation support from the UK government.

Other benefits include:

  • increased capital allowances for investment in plant machinery, structures and buildings
  • business rates relief
  • employer National Insurance contributions relief
  • deferrals and exemptions from import duties

Freeports with particularly strong food and drink opportunities are:


If you’re setting up to manufacture or sell food in the UK, you’ll need to be aware of the UK’s regulatory framework. This includes the Food Standards Act, food safety orders, and food labelling guidelines.

Find out more about UK regulations on the Food Standards Agency website

Next steps

You can search the UK Investment Support Directory to find specialists with experience in helping businesses set up or expand in the UK.

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