Scotland: £100K to support local food and drink businesses

Projects from the Borders to the Outer Hebrides are being awarded grants of up to £5,000 to help to promote food products from their region and establish new markets.

Food festivals, food and drink trails, markets and online shops are among the 22 local and collaborative projects to receive support from the latest round of the Scottish Government’s Regional Food Fund.

The Fund, managed by Scotland Food & Drink, aims to support regional growth by providing support for projects to promote and sell products from their areas. A fourth round of funding opened last October, with a total of £100,000 available.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon visited the Aberdeen Business Improvement District, which has received a grant to promote Aberdeen Restaurant Week – a campaign to increase footfall and spend on local food and drink in the city.

Ms Gougeon said, “Scotland has some of the best food and drink in the world – the industry is worth £15 billion to our economy, supports thousands of jobs and businesses and is a success story at home and internationally.

“But there is no doubt that the sector has borne the brunt of an array of significant challenges in recent years and has repeatedly had to respond and adapt as a result.

“The Regional Food Fund is providing much-needed support to local businesses, producers and community groups to showcase the best products that their regions have to offer. To date, over £750,000 has been awarded to 160 projects across Scotland.

“The Fund is part of our wider Good Food Nation plans to improve the availability of local, high quality food, whilst also ensuring our food industry continues to grow in a way that is profitable and sustainable.”

Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink Fiona Richmond said, “It is fantastic to once again deliver the Regional Food Fund and support 22 exciting projects across Scotland. It is evident from the variety of projects that the desire to nurture a thriving local food scene and develop food and drink experiences is as strong as ever. All these projects play a part in making Scotland a renowned food tourism destination. We’d like to congratulate all the successful applicants and we look forward to working with them over the next year.”

Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired Adrian Watson said, “We are delighted this grant from the Scottish Government’s Regional Food Fund will allow us to expand our already hugely successful Aberdeen Restaurant Week.

“This welcome support means the next Aberdeen Restaurant Week, starting on January 22, will be the biggest yet with almost 70 restaurants, bars and cafes taking part. That will bring even more people into the city centre and provide an even bigger much-needed boost for local business.”


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