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O’Neill invites applications to Regional Food Programme

Minister Michelle O’Neill today opened the application window to a programme that provides financial support for initiatives which promote quality regional food and collaboration between members of the local agri-food supply chain.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The NI Regional Food Programme (NIRFP), funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, will be open for applications for 2013/14 until 5pm on Wednesday 10 April 2013.

Speaking today Minister O’Neill said: “The food industry here plays a central role in contributing to the wider north of Ireland economy. It accounts for over 20% of manufacturing output and employs 50,000 people directly. The NIRFP helps to deliver the quality food message to thousands of people each year, here and further afield.

“Since its inception in 2007 the programme has committed funding to the value of £1.8million. This funding has assisted the formation and development of many well known food promotion initiatives; the Food Pavilion at Balmoral Show, Magherafelt’s Speciality Christmas Food Market, Taste of Ulster and the award winning Great Belfast Food Initiative which included the Belfast Bred Walking tours.”

Applications will be accepted within four key areas;

 Regional fairs/shows;

· Information programmes;

· Award ceremonies; and

· Seminars/ workshops;

Assistance is restricted to not for profit organisations with an north of Ireland wide membership/remit. These can be agri–food groups representative of producers and/or processors, registered Charities and others fostering economic development locally. Applications are particularly welcome for collaborative ventures involving two or more of these organisations working together to deliver the objectives of the programme.

An application form for funding can be downloaded from the DARD website or obtained from:

Ms Una Hollywood
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Room 518
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast
BT4 3SB
Tel: 028 9052 4497
E-mail: una.hollywood@dardni.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. The Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme (NIRFP) was established as part of the implementation of The Fit for Market Report, which was published by the Food Strategy Group in November 2004.
  2. Successful applications to the NIRFP can obtain up to 40% financial contributions on eligible expenditure.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email: DARD Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.