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Supporting Bioeconomy Businesses from the Scarborough District

The past few months have been an enjoyable time for the BioVale Team as we have been delivering an inspiring project supporting ten bioeconomy businesses from the Scarborough District. The project was a pilot programme, funded by Anglo American who had identified the bioeconomy as an area with great potential for growth and a key priority for their Social and Economic Development Plan.

10 Whitby Bioeconomy Businesses Supported

Over the course of the programme we supported 10 businesses to develop their products and processes. Each business received 2 days of bespoke support from the team and our colleagues at the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), plus a small grant.

The programme began with two breakfast workshops in Whitby. Over coffee and bacon butties we were able to get to know the businesses better, learn about the challenges they faced and develop plans for how we could support them.

We have been really excited by the wide variety of businesses supported. The programme has highlighted just how broad the bioeconomy sector is. Indeed some of the businesses we worked with didn’t even realise that they were part of the bioeconomy!

  • Bayview Bees

Bayview Bees are a local honey supplier, retailing online and supplying to local shops. They also offer beekeeping courses. They were interested in exploring ways of increasing their revenue.

The BioVale Team supported them to enter six of their products into the Great Taste Awards. Time was also spent exploring the possibility of offering experience days, hive sponsorship opportunities, creating a flyer and developing a QR code for use on product packaging. We also supported the creation of a video and images for use on their website.

In addition to the Anglo American programme, Bayview Bees were also eligible to access one of the BDC’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – funded projects. This gave them access to another two funded days of support which was used to improve their packaging, give advice on propolis collection, increase the yield from their hives and explore other markets for their products.

  • Whitby Sea Salt

Whitby Sea Salt sells a variety of coarse sea salt products that they harvest from the North Sea. The BioVale Team supported Whitby Sea Salt to explore alternative packaging options, gave advice on compliance with the Green Claims Code and recommendations for expanding their social media reach.

  • Whitby Brewery

Whitby Brewery wanted to explore ways in which they could add value to the spent brewer’s grain left over from their brewing process. The BioVale Team provided them with information on small-scale anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is the process by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen to produce the renewable energy source, biogas.

  • Whitby Distillery

Whitby Distillery uses fruit and botanicals in the distilling process to flavour their products. They were interested in exploring the potential value in their spent botanicals which they were sending to landfill. An animation was produced for their website which informs customers about their products and processes. The Distillery was also eligible to access two additional ERDF-funded projects which gave them access to another four days of time.

Our Technologists carried out trials to explore whether the spent botanicals were suitable for anaerobic digestion. They also explored other end uses for the spent botanicals including potpourri, potential for use as a cosmetic exfoliant and sustainable packaging material.

  • Eartha Underwear

Eartha Underwear manufactures ethically-made underwear using sustainable fabrics. They wanted to increase their Google rankings and number of direct visits to their website. The BioVale Team supported Eartha with the creation of a Search Engine Optimisation plan, creation of a short video for use on their website and with costs for exhibiting at the Living North Expo.

  • Fortune’s Kippers

Fortune’s Kippers is a family business established in Whitby in 1872, they sell smoked kippers direct from their smokehouse. BioVale supported Fortune’s to improve their branding, develop a range of branded merchandise and workwear, look at ways to add value to their waste streams, provide advice on developing a new website and apply for the Great Taste Awards.

  • Journey Blue

Journey Blue sells products for outdoors, travel and adventure enthusiasts. They collect and recycle plastic fishing nets to be turned into pelletised plastic by a company who then sells the recycled material to sportswear manufacturing companies. The other half of the business is an online retail shop which sells sustainably sourced goods made from ocean plastics. The ambition of the company is to have the waste that they collect turned into a product of their own, to sell in their shop.

Journey Blue was provided with 2 days of business training and coaching and a personalised business strategy report which contained recommendations focused on bringing the two strands of their business together to work better as a whole.

  • Raincliffe Woods Community Enterprise

Raincliffe Woods is a community managed woodland and a social enterprise that offers training, education and mentoring. BioVale supported them by undertaking research and preparing a report for their proposed ecoloop biochar project. We also supported Raincliffe on the design and production of infographics for use on their website.

  • Nature’s Laboratory

Nature’s Laboratory develops sustainable and effective natural medicines including plant-based and bee-derived medicines and skin care products. Their project focussed on the design, promotion and hosting of an event called ‘Fit for the Future? Is your organisation coping with today’s economic, social and cultural challenges?’. This provided an opportunity for Nature’s Lab to showcase their initiative, Three’s Company, which looks at auditing an organisation’s economic, social and cultural health with the aim of improving resilience to today’s challenges.

  • Yoghurt Delights

Yoghurt Delights is a frozen yoghurt business run from a farm on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. This project involved researching possible farm diversification opportunities that would also align with guidance provided by DEFRA on the new sustainable farming initiative. BioVale researched two areas of opportunity including growing industrial hemp as a carbon sequestration land tool whilst simultaneously creating hemp fibre for an established local hemp supply chain and peatland and peat bog restoration.

New collaborations

One of the programme highlights for the Team has been seeing the businesses forming connections and supporting each other using their own unique skills and experiences. Examples of which include the potential collaborations between Bayview Bees and Nature’s Laboratory, Whitby Sea Salt and Fortune’s Kippers and Nature’s Laboratory and Eartha Underwear.

  • Bayview Bees & Nature’s Laboratory
    Nature’s Laboratory has expressed an interest in potentially purchasing propolis from Bayview Bees to use in their products.
  • Whitby Sea Salt & Fortune’s Kippers
    Whitby Sea Salt are developing a new addition to their salt and vinegar range in collaboration with Fortune’s Kippers.
  • Nature’s Laboratory & Eartha Underwear
    Nature’s Laboratory is going to help Eartha Underwear to develop their website.

A resounding success

We were over the moon to receive positive feedback from the businesses that we supported. As well as being an enjoyable experience and a great networking opportunity, businesses reported that our support had helped them to develop and grow.


“Working with Alice and the team at BioVale has been a pleasure. The ideas and designs which they have brought to the table will be used to push my business forward in these turbulent times. As a small business owner it’s often hard to lift your head up to see what is going on because there is always so much to do, it’s been great to have a team behind you that can do some of the looking for you.”

David Hanson, Owner, Bayview Bees


“Thank you to the BioVale team, it’s been an absolute pleasure. The help, advice, encouragement and expertise have been excellent and certainly of great value moving forward. The grant money from Anglo American has allowed us to develop an exciting new product much earlier and more efficiently and it’s very much appreciated.”

Darren Archibald, Owner, Whitby Sea Salt


“Having a group of like-minded individuals like this is invaluable to building future collaborations for my business.”

Emily Turner, Owner, Eartha Underwear


“The BioVale team have assisted us to bring the business forward with advertisements and branding and have been able to recommend reusable materials to reduce our plastic packaging. They have been really helpful and always on hand to offer advice and help with any queries we have had.”

Bethany Brown, Owner, Fortune’s Kippers



This programme of activity is linked to the wider BioYorkshire initiative – an innovative public-private partnership including the University of York, Fera Science and Askham Bryan College and a range of private sector partners. It will transform the UK’s bioeconomy through an ‘end to end’ programme going from world-class research through to translational facilities to study the application of this research, then a network of specialised business incubations, training and skills and entrepreneurial support to create and grow companies to commercially produce the industrial and consumer products from the research.


Full details of how we supported the Whitby businesses can be found in our brochure that can be downloaded via this link BioVale – Anglo American full project report – Final.

Sara Goodhead

BioVale Cluster Administrator



Featured image by Daniel Loftus on Unsplash