Diss firm receives £150k grant for “first-of-its-kind” egg-laying facility

Many more people nowadays are keeping a few chickens free range in their gardens for fun and the eggs they produce ENGEMN00120131212112003

Many more people nowadays are keeping a few chickens free range in their gardens for fun and the eggs they produce ENGEMN00120131212112003

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A south Norfolk business is set to introduce a first-of-its-kind self-sustainable free range egg-laying facility in the UK, after being awarded a grant for almost £150,000.

DR and TJ Laurie Family Partnership, located in Diss, has received the grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, which aims to support innovation in the agricultural technology industry, to build a new facility for around 16,000 birds.

The company says it plans to utilise new technology to contribute to birds’ welfare and improve their health and productivity, which it states will ultimately result in “happier and more settled chickens.”

David Laurie, senior partner at DR and TJ Laurie Family Partnership, said: “Grant assistance from the Agri-Tech Growth initiative will make a huge difference to this project and will provide the business with a significant boost which will enable it to grow at a much quicker rate than would have been otherwise possible.”

Other new technologies set to be employed at this facility include a state-of-the-art nesting and laying network, as well as an automated egg grading, labelling and packing system.

The grant has also enabled the Diss-based firm to secure a contract with Noble Foods, to supply up to 16,000 eggs every day for retail chain Marks and Spencers.

Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia LEP said: “Agri-Tech businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk are introducing new ideas and inventions which are setting themselves apart from the rest of the field.

“I am delighted to support DR and TJ Laurie Family Partnership, which shows the Agri-Tech Grants at their best, supporting businesses who come up with new ideas to be more productive and stand out in a competitive marketplace.”