A scheme to help showcase Scottish produce has been launched by the Scottish Government to help bring a much-needed boost to local food and drink enterprises.
A fund of £200,000 is set to be divided among 42 food and drink businesses, each receiving up to £5,000 over the next few weeks.
The Regional Food Fund (RFF) has been created as part of one of the Scottish Government’s 100 Days commitments and will be administered by industry body Scotland Food and Drink.
Eleven projects across the north and north-east have been earmarked for the funding, which is expected to bring in more than £50,000 to the region.
One of the projects receiving funding in the Highlands includes the highly-anticipated Highland Food and Drink Trail, which is set to launch later this month.
Other projects include the creation of an interactive online map showcasing the local food and drink producers in Orkney, while another will create a similar directory for the Highlands.
The projects in Aberdeenshire receiving funding are:
- Great British Food Hub, Aberdeen and Shire – Growth and development of existing online food market (£5,000).
- Huntly Hairst – Expansion of the offering of the renowned harvest festival (£5,000).
- The Ghillies Larder – Monthly farmers’ market in Braemar (£5,000).
The projects in the Highlands and Islands receiving funding are:
- Highland Food and Drink Tourism – Creation of new directory of Highland food and drink producers (£5,000).
- Highland Food and Drink Trail – A pedestrian trail in Inverness, taking in restaurants, a street food promenade, cafes and pop-ups (£5,000).
- Mull and Iona Food Trail – Redevelopment and extension of existing food and drink trail, as well as production of Moveable Feast events (£5,000)
- Orkney Food and Drink Trail – Interactive online map of local food and drink producers (£5,000).
- Skye and Lochalsh Local Food Hub Network – Establishment of a permanent network of 10 food hubs across the area, led by the Food Link van team (£5,000).
- Spirited Stories – Gathering and promotion of regional food and drink stories, featured through existing tourism portals (£5,000).
- Taste North 2021 – Virtual/physical hybrid edition of this well-established Highland food and drink festival (£5,000).
- Taste of Shetland – New Taste of Shetland trailer which has been commissioned for a long-term project to promote the island’s food and drink on and off Shetland (£5,000).
- Whitebridge Food Market – Creation of outdoor market in the Loch Ness area of the Highlands, servicing both locals and visitors (£4,262).
A full list of the businesses receiving the funding across Scotland can be found here.
‘Demand has been incredible’
Following the announcement of the funding, Fiona Richmond, head of regional food at Scotland Food and Drink, said: “Since its launch in February, the demand for the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership Regional Food Fund has been incredible and we are delighted that it has resulted in the funding allocation being doubled to £200,000.
“The fund provides vital support to 42 fantastic collaborative projects and initiative that will contribute to the recovery, and growth, of the food, drink and tourism sectors across the country.
“This increase in support comes at a critical time as local economies get back on their feet after a challenging year.
“We look forward to seeing the awarded projects come to life over the next six months.”
Douglas Hardie from Bad Girl Bakery in Muir of Ord, who is the organiser behind the Highland Food and Drink Trail is excited to have the support and funding for the project.
He says: “I think that Scotland Food and Drink are an amazing organisation championing our Food and Drink and hospitality industry, and their support since Covid has been especially outstanding.
“I am really excited that the Highland Food and Drink Trail has been supported by them and the Scottish Government through the Regional Food Fund. I’m grateful that Scotland Food and Drink see the value in this project that aims to help and support the restaurants and street food businesses in Inverness and the Highlands.”