Redeveloped facility will focus on intermediate prepared products Edinburgh's booming real estate market promises capital to fund more investment by Grampian Country Food Group in convenience foods production. Aberdeen based Grampian, the biggest independent agrifood business in the UK, is seeking council planning consent for redevelopment of its Newbridge manufacturing site as a business park. The company emphasises that closure of the facility does not imply any cutback in its activities. "We regard this as a benefit to the business," said corporate marketing manager Alisdair Cox. Investment in upgrading the plant would not be worthwhile, but selling the site should yield a cash gain to finance a bigger and better operation in the same area, retaining the skilled workforce. The new facility will target the part-prepared poultry sector. "The primary chicken market is definitely contracting," said Cox, "but what we are looking at here is not the microwaveable nugget or kiev." Instead, Grampian's new facility will focus on "more hi-tech" intermediate products such as joints that are convenient but "give the consumer a sense of participating in the preparation". Grampian has a reputation for astute management of its added value poultry activities, identifying market niches carefully and maintaining discipline in its internal raw material allocation systems better than other suppliers that have been repeatedly tempted back into the commodity chicken trade for short term price gains. Finding liquid capital in property assets is also typical of Grampian, which has puzzled competitors for years with its ability to expand without suffering severe cash squeezes despite its lack of either a multinational parent or a stock exchange listing. {{MEAT }}