New and established enterprises in the food sector are set to benefit from a €270,000 investment in a new Mountmellick food hub.
Under the scheme, announced by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, Laois Partnership has been given the green light to approve funding of €198,425 to Mountmellick Development Association to set up the hub.
The Rural Development Fund money will be used to set up the ‘community food hub’. The development, which involves the modification of an existing industrial unit, will consist of five kitchen units and three storage facilities.
Two of the kitchens will be available to established businesses, one of the kitchens will be available to start-up businesses, one will be a product development kitchen and the fifth kitchen will be a training unit.
The Minister said the project would now go back to the Board of Laois Partnership for the final approval but he was confident that it would be a success.
“This project will be of immense benefit to Laois with its total project costs of €268,426. This is an innovative project, it is community driven and is the first of its type in the midlands. I am pleased to be able to approve this funding for the development of this exciting development,” he said.
The money is coming through the Leader programme which includes a remit to develop micro-enterprises, rural services, rural recreation and rural tourism. It is hoped that this will lead to sustainable development and prosperity in rural areas.