€682,300 for 15 ru­ral food and drink projects

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FARM FINANCE - Stephen Cado­gan

Fund­ing of €682,300 has been a p p r o ve d f o r f u r t h e r de­vel­op­ment of ru­ral food and drink busi­nesses in the cur­rent LEADER ru­ral de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme.

A to­tal of 15 projects are in­volved.

They are avail­ing of the LEADER Food Ini­tia­tive which of­fers up to €15m of fund­ing for mea­sures such as ren­o­va­tion and ex­ten­sion of pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, and pur­chase of pro­cess­ing equip- ment. The ini­tia­tive will also sup­port 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. 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 f o o d b u s i n e s s e s j o i n t l y ad­dress com­mon pro­cess­ing and mar­ket­ing chal­lenges. The LEADER Food Ini­tia­tive was launched last May, man­aged by the De­part­ment of Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, with fund­ing from the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Ma­rine. LEADER Lo­cal Ac­tion Groups en­gage with po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants, eval­u­ate ap­pli­ca­tions, and se­lect projects which are then sub­mit­ted for ap­proval.

The projects are jointly ap­proved by the two De­part­ments.

Min­is­ter for Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment and for Agri­cul­ture, Michael Ring and Michael Creed, launch­ing the €15m LEADER Food Ini­tia­tive in May 2018.

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