Funding for food and drink initiatives

Norette Ferns

Local food and drink initatives across the country have been awarded grants from the second round of the Regional Food Fund.

Grants totalling £95,700 have been awarded to 21 projects including a harvest food festival in Castle Douglas, an Ethical Farming Conference to take place in Dumfries and Galloway and a Streetfood Zone at the Stranraer Oyster Festival.

The Connect Local Regional Food Fund (RFF) is a grant to support growth in Scotland’s local/regional food and drink sector. This is a competitive fund and applicants can apply for grants up to a maximum of £5,000.

Welcoming the announcement, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

"The food and drink produced here is amongst the best in the world and there is a huge appetite for it – both domestically and abroad. The Regional Food Fund is an initiative to help increase access to that fresh, seasonal, and nutritious food and drink. By providing some financial assistance required to allow these fantastic projects to thrive we are making the best of Scotland’s produce, and further adding to our credentials as a leading food tourism destination.
"And I hope that the success of these projects in applying for funding will encourage others to do the same."

Ceri Ritchie, Connect Local Project Manager and Sector Manager for Food and Drink at SAC Consulting, said:

"Once again, we have been incredibly impressed with the range and quality of applications to the Regional Food Fund, and it’s a privilege to be able to support so many in this second round.
"It’s clear that that local food and drink projects, in all their diversity, are flourishing across the country, with businesses coming together to promote and grow their area’s larder and the producers behind it. We believe that by doing so, not only will communities benefit, but Scotland’s entire food and drink economy and culture will benefit too.
"We look forward to seeing the projects develop and creating a lasting impact in the months and years to come."

Visit the Connect Local website for more information on the Regional Food Fund.