Ministers Ring and Creed launch new artisan producer funding initiative. Pic: Maxwells
Job creation by Laois artisan food and beverage producers could be boosted under under the new ‘LEADER Food Initiative’ which will see €15 million put on the table in grants.
The Initiative will provide financial supports, including for the renovation and extension of production facilities and the purchasing of processing equipment, as well as supporting participants in the artisan food and beverage sector in areas such as market development, competitiveness, and innovation.
The maximum amount of funding available is €200,000 per project and funding will be provided for both capital investment and softer supports related to analysis and development or training. This includes support for collaborative proposals where food businesses jointly address common processing and marketing challenges.
The initial tranche of €5 million will be allocated in 2018. Based on the experience in delivering the initial tranche of funding, it is anticipated that the remaining €10 million of this LEADER Food Initiative funding will be rolled out by 2020.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, launched the initiative.
“The LEADER Food Initiative will make a vital contribution to the development of local food businesses which are central to the economic sustainability of rural areas and an important source of local jobs. Many local artisan producers have wonderful products but require additional investment in production facilities, equipment, processing and marketing which can help them take the next step and bring their product to a wider market.
Minister Creed said: “This initiative will complement existing supports for artisan and small food businesses provided by my Department and State agencies, including Food Works, developed by Bord Bia, Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland for start-up food entrepreneurs; and retailer programmes, for example Supervalu’s Food Academy. Bord Bia has a dedicated website, www.bordbiavantage.ie , with detailed information on the supports and opportunities for small food businesses.
Ministers Ring and Creed concluded by encouraging artisan and small food businesses in rural Ireland to contact the Local Action Group (LAG) or Implementing Partner in their area as soon as possible to discuss the available funding opportunities. All applications for funding will be managed through the LEADER LAGs.
How to apply for funding:
Applications are managed through the LEADER LAGs. Each LAG can decide whether or not to accept project applications under this initiative, and should animate this funding opportunity in the same manner as for other LEADER projects. The Expression of Interest and project application process within each LAG must be the same as for all LEADER projects.
As for all LEADER 2014 – 2020 funding applications, interested applicants should contact the LAG in the relevant LEADER sub-regional area in the first instance.