Food and Drink Sector
The rich fertile landscape of the region has resulted in a thriving agricultural base. Whilst this is consolidating and diversifying to more “added value” orientation, agriculture related businesses still account for 33% of the total VAT registered businesses in the region. The industry has moved with modern times and many businesses have diversified into new areas or niche, value added elements.
The Rural Business Investment Scheme will provide investment support for the creation and development of micro and small enterprises (including farm diversification and private tourism businesses) in rural areas. All businesses applying will require a business plan and 3-year financial projections to support their application. The funding will primarily provide capital grants with some resource funds towards bespoke training and marketing. Support is primarily targeted at rural areas ie excluding towns with a population of more than 5,000.
For more information on this scheme, please click here.
The Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network was set up by the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in February 2016. The purpose is twofold:
- to showcase local food and drink to consumer, retail, hospitality sectors, and
- to support the industry through networking, training and signposting.
The Food Network has made some great achievements to date.
- An online networking group of over 200 members including chefs and producers and a Twitter following of over 1800.
- Fruitful attendance at exhibitions including at IFEX (Ireland’s Food Exhibition), Balmoral Show and BBC Good Food Show.
- Shortlisted in Grow Make Eat Drink Awards and the Year of Food and Drink Awards.
Many members are singing the praises of the Network and how it has already helped their business, through practical help, collaborative support, promising contacts, and new orders. If you are in a food related business within the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area, we invite you to join our Network. It’s Free!
If you are a resident, interested in sourcing local produce, please download our publication “A Taste of the Causeway Coast and Glens” here, to find out more about our produce, markets, food tours, cookery courses and locally inspired recipes. Or follow Us on Facebook.