A MAJOR plant-food producer has moved to York as part of its bid to build a global manufacturing base to make plant products more affordable.

Plant & Bean Ltd has taken on a large space for research and development at York Biotech Campus, just north of the city which is a leading hub for bioscience in Yorkshire.

Plant & Bean develops and manufactures high-quality, plant-based food products for household brands and leading retailers. Its mission is to enable 10 billion people to eat plant-based meat by developing affordable, high-quality products.

Plant & Bean is a venture, created by Brecks’ Meat-Free Division and NR Instant PLC, a Thailand-based, stock-listed speciality food manufacturing.

Its new space in York includes three custom laboratories, including a culinary and innovation kitchen, fitted out in a stainless-steel design.

Another is a ‘pilot plant’, where the elements of new products can be analysed and tested. The space also includes offices, allowing the R&D and regulatory team to be based onsite as well.

York Biotech Campus worked with Plant & Bean to make the fit-out of these spaces possible, helping to bring the company’s vision to life, while managing the challenges of working at a social distance.

The current team of full-time workers have moved on site with recruitment plans starting over the next year.

Liz Cashon, innovation campus manager at York Biotech Campus, said: “We’ve loved working with the Plant & Bean team to create this innovative R&D space and move them into their all new Covid-secure work environment.

“Welcoming a company such as Plant & Bean to the site is a great endorsement for the growing influence of the site.

"With a collaborative approach to its work and a desire to work with local Yorkshire stakeholders, we know Plant & Bean is going to be a great addition to the campus and we look forward to working closely with them to support their ongoing growth plans.”

James Hirst, CEO at Plant & Bean, said: “We’re delighted with our new space onsite at York Biotech Campus. Moving to York Biotech Campus offered us a great opportunity to continue to build our local networks in Yorkshire, working amongst some of the brightest companies in biotechnology.

“The Campus is going to provide a great base for us moving forward, as we look to continue to grow. We know there is room for us to scale our operations where needed and a great onsite team to help us when we do so.

"We’re looking forward to making the most of the conference centre, when meeting in groups is safe, as we’d love to bring our stakeholders together on this beautiful campus.”

York Biotech Campus is set in 80 acres of parkland, and provides space for entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and established organisations in a flexible and scientific environment.

The site offers science and office space across a mix of public and private sector organisations, working at the interface of government, academia and industry. It also houses the 250-seat Lakeside Conference Centre, an onsite restaurant, nursery and fitness centre.