Scottish convenience stores can apply for a share of a £300,000 government fund aimed at promoting healthy food to go.

The Food to Go fund, announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will be open to small independent convenience stores throughout the country and aims to improve Scotland’s food culture.

Under the criteria, applicants will be expected to undertake a commitment to reduce food and packaging waste.

First minister of Scotland Nicolas Sturgeon said: “A diverse and successful convenience store sector is vital in serving communities throughout Scotland. Last year’s Food to Go fund was very effective in supporting small retailers the length and breadth of the country to entice customers into their stores and generate a new income stream for grocers.

“This new funding will build on that, helping grocers to provide people with access to good quality, locally sourced and healthy food as well as providing an important focus on waste reduction.”

Scottish Grocers Federation chief executive, Pete Cheema OBE, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this announcement. The fact that funding is being increased will be warmly welcomed by everyone in the convenience sector. This will help local shops to stay competitive and to respond to changing customer demand.”

The fund will be administered by the SGF, with further details on criteria and timings to be confirmed in due course.