UKMD Regional: Connect Local Legacy

This page contains a listing of all of the projects which were awarded during the lifetime of the Connect Local Regional Food Fund. Information is available on each project, along with funding information and total funding information is presented towards the bottom of the page. You may also view the Connect Local Legay infographic.

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Projects Awarded During Round 1 Funding

ABC and Beyond

The ABC and Beyond project is based in Eastern Perthshire and aims to form a collaboration of small and medium sized food producers.  Using social media, online sites and networking groups, local produce will be linked to consumers, retailers and catering outlets.  The collaboration will also link with two embryonic local food assemblies. Producers involved will promote the values of responsibly grown high quality food, produced with respect to the environment with the aim of reducing food miles. Collaborative working will strengthen individual businesses by reducing the effects of adverse weather, gluts and transport costs.

The wealth of local produce will be showcased by food events to highlight local seasonal produce.  ‘Pop Up’ restaurants / meal events will be facilitated in three towns using local chefs and showcasing local ingredients.  The network of producers and growers will also link up with the local tourist associations and attract tourists with a positive effect on accommodation providers, shops, markets and restaurants.  In time a local food trail will be established.

Using established links with local community groups, workshops for youngsters and adults will be held, promoting the underpinning skills and knowledge of growing and food production. This will promote a culture of understanding, belief in and commitment to the sustained use of local produce.

Argyll Food Hubs

Argyll Food Producers (Food from Argyll) requested funding to consolidate and expand Oban Food Hub and set up and develop Dunoon Food Hub, including research and development of best web platform for hubs in Scotland in collaboration with other Scottish Food groups. The Food Assembly/Hub model is well established and designed to encourage food producers into the market and maximise their margins and profitability. Through its flexibility it enables producers to test out their products, have a low cost entry route to markets, have the support of the host and other producers, and grow a loyal customer base.

The Food Assemblies/Hubs can encourage people into food production as a career choice and generate successful businesses and profits. The model allows for innovation as well as having a strong emphasis on quality, sustainability and provenance. It allows for growth in a steady sustainable manner, well suited to rural businesses. It can open up connections to other routes to markets and customer groups, including retailers and wholesalers. Support offered by the hosts and other producers can provide mentoring for new businesses and existing business wanting to grow.

Part of the Food Hub development will deal with improving logistics in the area to get products moving around the area as efficiently as possible, linking up with Load Share Argyll, a project that AFP is currently working on. By encouraging more producers to bring their goods to market the group will grow its membership and its own sustainability and support network. This support will encourage innovation and new ideas within the group to bring new products to the market and find innovative ways of marketing them.

Ballantrae Trust

Ballantrae Trust want to deliver the Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink in 2019.

This has previously been run for 3 years – 2015 to 2017. The Festival is a successful and vibrant event which is bursting at the seams with a rich, diverse and high quality celebration of local produce. Previous Festivals have taken part over one day but Ballantrae Trust believes the Festival has now outgrown one day and will be increasing next year’s Festival to two days.

Another reason for holding it over two days is to increase the income from the festival from stall and entrance fees. This is vital to ensure the event works towards sustainability. Ballantrae Trust will offer workshops, demos, wild food foraging experiences as well as access to high quality, artisan local produce.

The Saturday of the Festival is World Gin Day so a mini Gin Festival will be held within the main Festival during which local gins will be promoted.

Ballantrae Trust have the support of several gin distillers and will also be working with the local primary school to deliver healthy eating/cooking workshops, giving the children an opportunity to engage with local and healthy produce.

Best of the West Festival

2018 was the eight Best of the West Festival. A weekend celebration of the best in food, drink, arts and entertainment from the  West of Scotland.  The festival is held in September, a tourism ‘shoulder’ month, stretching the tourist season in an area of Scotland that is reliant on tourism.  The festival is held in the grounds of Inveraray Castle, home to the Dukes of Argyll and seat of the Clan Campbell. The castle is a highly visited destination in itself and had the benefit of providing hard standing as well as being 60 miles from Glasgow and 45 miles from Oban, the gateway to the Western Isles.

The Best of the West Festival was very fortunate to win a £2,000 grant from the Regional Food Fund. This was to help grow the festival with focus on the food and drink element of the weekend.

With the grant, the festival was able to enlarge the footprint of the cooking demonstration area, enlarge the footprint of the food marquee and the whisky tasting marquee.  Argyll Estates had also created a 50% increase in the hard standing which ensured that the marquees were on dry, drainable land and the festival could enlarge to fully promote (undercover) the vision of providing and showcasing the talents of the food producers and chefs that Argyll and the surrounding area is famous for.

Dumfries Farmers Market

Dumfries Farmers’ Market was based at Tarff Town & Country on the Lockerbie Road since it launched in 2011.

By 2017 both stallholders and customers were saying that a change of venue to a more central location would help make local food and drink more accessible to local people- The Dumfries Railway Station offered exactly that, putting the market within walking distance for many people and providing a degree of weatherproofing from the elements too. The market organisers were delighted by the positive response their proposal to relocate to the station received from both the station staff and from ScotRail management. Their aim was to create an exciting farmers’ market experience in the centre of Dumfries; one that focuses on quality, provenance and accessibility of local produce

The interest and enthusiasm that was generated in Dumfries by the new venue was terrific and the move has been very successful. It could not have been achieved without the unique partnership with Scot Rail and the support and co-operation of a number of local businesses and community organisations located close to the Railway Station.

Increased footfall has demonstrated how much the new venue has helped make local food accessible to local people.

Since the move the market has received numerous requests for stalls from local producers.

The Farmers Market Committee’s are keen to now build on that initial success and to ensure the long-term viability and sustained growth of the market.

The project that Connect Local have generously agreed to assist with has been designed by the Farmers Market Committee to help the market put down roots in its new home, by growing the market further and strengthening its offering, developing community linkages to allow people to understand more about local produce, increase accessibility so more people are aware of the market and come along to meet the producers and purchase local food. The project will focus on two elements. First, the purchase of additional market infrastructure items i.e. market seating, electricity cabling and signage. The second element is the appointment of a part time market development manager to work alongside the management committee to develop and grow the market through increased community linkages, sponsorship, PR opportunities and special food focused events.

Farmer Jones Academy

Despite the success of the Scottish food and drink industry, farming is not currently taught as a career path for school leavers. In response to concerns about the dwindling numbers of young people pursuing farming as a career, local farmer, Richard Jones, has set up a social enterprise called Farmer Jones Academy (FJA).

Many young people believe they have to be ‘born into’ the farming industry and that it is too difficult to start up on their own. To tackle this, FJA provides training and practical experience for young people.

In the pilot project, FJA has provided a poly tunnel and growing beds along with the necessary tools, equipment and know-how at Nairn Academy. The pupils will be encouraged to think about what products they would like to sell, and then grow what they need to create a sustainable business. The courses on offer are accessible for all pupils and teach a range of business skills using an innovative new e-commerce teaching platform. Nairn Academy is assisting FJA with getting modules accredited for a range of formal qualifications which pupils can take to potential employers. Pupils will also be supported into either employment or self-employment, if they chose to pursue a career in the industry after their studies.

Project founder Richard Jones said:

“In order to help fund the education project Farmer Jones sell Hampers on-line which contain food produced by local small scale entrepreneurs. This provides a win-win-win situation in which small scale producers get a route to market and support the education of the next generation of entrepreneurs who will in turn produce food for our hampers.

The Scottish Government’s Local Food Fund has already given us much needed boost in our quest to build up sales of this Hamper Business. We shall be selling the Hampers all the year round under the slogan – “A Hamper is not just for Christmas!”

We are grateful for the ongoing support and help they have given us with this award via SAOS and Scotland Food and Drink.”

Farmer Jones Academy is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC), which means all profits go back into education projects. For more information, visit:

Forth Marine Resource

Forth Marine Resource will create a purpose-built facility which will create a holding and food preparation facility for crabs, lobsters, and langoustines, caught by fishermen in the East Lothian ports of Dunbar, Seacliff, North Berwick, Port Seaton and Musselburgh. Local fishermen currently have difficulty in storing their catch, as properly aerated salt water tanks are too expensive for individual fishermen to purchase and run. This facility will concentrate the shellfish catch from East Lothian and store, process, and market them for efficient onward distribution to local, domestic and International markets.

Connect Local Funding will enable the project to capture the core elements of their branding message, and generate a ‘stand out’ brand identity capable of communicating through design, packaging, and digital marketing channels. They plan to be briefing their branding requirements and shortlisting their design partners by the end of October 2018.

Great Perthshire Picnic

The Great Perthshire Dinner, featuring the chefs from 63 Tay Street, the North Port, Horsecross and Giraffe, was the first formal dinner hosted in Perth’s museum. It sold out in 12 days!

The event is organised by Giraffe Trading, a social enterprise in Perth. They use it to raise awareness of our cause and to raise funds to continue their work.

Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Mclean launched this year’s event with an open-air cooking demonstration in the centre of Perth, attracting more than 80 fans. 14000 brochures were distributed throughout the county and beyond! These businesses laid on more than 150 events for the public to attend. More than 50 businesses from all over Perthshire participated this year.

Local Food on Local Plates

Local Food on Local Plates will host a local food and drink fair to provide the wealth of local food and drink businesses with an opportunity to showcase their products and make potential sales and networking opportunities. Local Food on Local Plates would like to work in collaboration with them by exposing our students to what they have to offer and for our students to work with some of the produce by offering a formal dinner at the end of the fair to celebrate this.

Local Food on Local Plates would also like to offer demonstrations by local hospitality people as an added attraction to encourage more footfall at the event.

To highlight the abundance of quality food and drink grown and produced in the area and to educate and inspire those emerging in and connected to the hospitality industry, Local Food on Local Plates would like to increase collaboration between the hospitality students, local hospitality businesses and local food providers.

Newmilns Food Festival

The Newmilns Food Festival has become a valuable part of the local economy and in order to sustain and grow are now holding a Food Festival and an Arts and Crafts Fayre over a September weekend. Newmilns Regeneration Association, with the Support of Scotland’s Food and Drink grant funding, will be able to build these elements of our brand and project them to our existing and emerging markets.

The Newmilns Food Festival has grown over the last two years gaining momentum. Their ambition and belief is that their community, people and skills can continue to thrive and grow stronger than ever before.

Newmilns Festival collaborates with an abundance of local authorities/agencies throughout Scotland. This event has now become part of a wider picture, allowing them to work towards becoming a safe, strong and vibrant community where everyone has a good quality of life and has access to opportunities which are sustainable, accessible and meets their needs.

They have developed a brand that is moving forward allowing our community to prosper by enhancing and showcasing local quality produced Scottish Food, Crafts and Heritage enabling growth and profitability in Newmilns and throughout East Ayrshire.

Platform - Independent Food Market

Platform is an independent food market which has been running every weekend since March 2018 in Argyle Street Arches. The Arches reopened after being closed for almost three years and at Platform, there is a pool of around 10-15 traders, with 8 trading at any given event.

All traders are from Scotland and provide a range of different types of food some using local produce but not all. A major objective is to move towards a position where all traders are committed to using only local produce. A good start has been made in raising awareness of the venue and Platform through Social Media, Subway poster campaigns and targeted leafleting.

In order to promote the venue as a year-round destination for food tourism, further work needs to be done in collaboration with Glasgow City Tourist Office, the Glasgow Tour Bus, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow Life and the Glasgow Convention Bureau to develop a publicity campaign to raise awareness particularly over the Autumn and in the run up to the Festive Season.

Refreshing Arbroath

The first Arbroath market was held in August 2017, organised by a community group, its aim was to bring more people into Arbroath town centre, increase the footfall on the High Street and enable local people to access quality local food and drink produce.  The market is currently held every second month throughout the year and regularly attracts over 20 stallholders from Angus and the surrounding area.  The market has provided many small fledgling artisan businesses with an outlet for their products; building product awareness in the local community.

The Regional Food Fund will help the market expand.  The number of stallholders will increase, and the market will go from two-monthly to monthly markets over the summer in 2019.  There will be a wider variety of stallholders, providing increased access to a greater range of local food for local people and visiting tourists.  Food and drink producers in Angus will be able to take advantage of a regular schedule of events across the area where they can sell their produce.  Footfall at this market has always been strong benefitting not only the stallholders but also surrounding shops, cafes and restaurants.

This collaborative project brings together volunteers, stallholders and the Council, all keen to work together to secure the future of the market and to make it as successful as possible.  Arbroath is surrounded by some of the best agricultural land in the UK and this project enables local produce to reach the local people.

Roots to Market

This project aims to support the growth of the local food economy in Glasgow by delivering on recommendations made in phase 1 of Roots to Market. This recently published scoping study explored the aspirations, barriers and opportunities for both urban market gardeners (mostly vegetable producers), and cafes or restaurants looking to buy locally sourced produce.

Most of the recommendations in the report centre around collaborative and cooperative working, in addition to working with Glasgow City Council to get ‘food’ recognised in the planning system. This project will enable us to facilitate ways for Growers to work together to build markets and supply chains, share skills, knowledge, equipment and other resources, and provide peer support to each other.

We will also grow better connections between buyers and growers, promoting local produce with commercial kitchens and social enterprises, building knowledge and expertise with chefs around seasonal cooking and supporting chefs to work together to better enable the local food sector in Glasgow.

We have already secured funding from Sustainable Food Cities for work to complement this through their Veg Cities campaign. Veg Cities aims to increase the consumption of vegetables, and we have linked this to local production and Roots to Market.

The Pitt

The Pitt Street Food Market is a combination of street food, beer, cocktail and wine bars and great, friendly atmosphere. The focus of their business has always been to give opportunities for local street food and drinks businesses, and give them a platform to trade in Edinburgh.

The Pitt has been operating in an industrial yard in Leith, after 3 years of successful trading and bringing life to the area, the opportunity to expand their premises and add an indoor space has arisen. This indoor space will allow them to trade during the winter, which has not been possible in previously. Seasonality is one of the downfalls of the street food business and indoor space will give small, local business a place to trade over the winter, as well as providing a unique experience for their customers. Despite the amazing local street food and drinks talent in Edinburgh, the city is lacking an all-year-around, relaxed venue and they want to change this.

The Regional Food Fund will allow them to further develop their business, and provide more business opportunities for small, local businesses. The Fund would help improve the infrastructure, the hygiene and the outlook of the venue.

Stirling: Local Food Online

Stirling Food Assembly has been trading since October 2016 and it has 2000 consumer members and 40 local food producers that supply into it. In light of recent news regarding Food Assembly UK, FEL needs to migrate Stirling Food Assembly to a new platform; this is still in research phase.

The Stirling Food Hub (formerly Assembly) will provide a weekly farmers style pick up point for orders, creating a platform of for augmenting additional seasonal food campaigns, in line with other initiatives such as food and drink fortnight. The Stirling Food Hub will be positioned in our Local High School, promoting local food to young people and potential future careers.

The Stirling Food Hub has a secondary pick up point for deliveries at Stirling Active Travel Hub – Stirling Train Station, providing excellent foot fall for locals as well as visitors whom purchase on line and can collect when they arrive at the Train Station.

The Stirling Food Hub will be the test bed, for the LEADER regional project which aims to enable 10 more communities/producer networks to run their own Online Food Market and therefore meaning that by 2020 there will be roughly 500 local weekly online food markets and pick up points across Scotland, adding multiple opportunities to promote local food. Adding value to other local food providers for example farmers markets, farm shops and food retailers/restaurants.

Regional Food Fund R1 - Funding Values
 Applicant NameGrant Awarded (£)
 ABC and Beyond5000
Argyll Food Assembley Development5000
Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink5000
BOWFest 20182000
Dumfries Farmers Market Development Project5000
Farmer Jones Academy CIC5000
Forth Marine Resource Marketing Plan4000
Great Perthshire Picnic5000
 Local Food on Local Plates1000
Newmilns Festival Weekend4956
Platform Independent Food Market5000
Refreshing Arbroath3833
Roots to Market5000
Stirling: Local Food Online5000
The Pitt Indoor Space5000

Number of successful applicants = 15
Total funding given = £65,789

Case Studies: Round 1 Awarded Projects

Roots to Market

Refreshing Arbroath

Platform Market

Newmilns Food Festival

Projects Awarded During Round 2 Funding

Beer from Perthshire Larder

Beer from Perthshire’s Larder aims to celebrate the breadth and depth of local produce through the medium of beer. The project will help educate consumers allowing them to develop a greater understanding of what is grown and produced around them, thus creating & reinforcing a lasting connection to Perthshire’s larder and reducing the food miles between field and bottle. Beer from Perthshire’s Larder is a collaborative project linking directly with other local businesses including; Strathearn Distillery, Guardswell Farm, and Glen Lyon Coffee and aims to support food tourism by promoting products at local farmers markets and events.

Castle Douglas Harvest Food Festival

Castle Douglas Harvest Food Festival is a two day food festival which takes place in early September within Dumfries and Galloway’s food town. Castle Douglas is widely regarded as a traditional market town that retains an authentic food production and agricultural heritage. This is reflected on the high street retail experience as well as the surrounding local business base. This project aims to raise the profile of Castle Douglas as being a good food market town, creating trade opportunities for local businesses, support community skills development by offering volunteering opportunities for young people, and providing a platform to showcase excellent food and drink products.

Celebrating Seasonal Fife

Celebrating Seasonal Fife is a collaborative project working closely with Food from Fife, local producers, schools and colleges, shops, catering outlets, and media; such as the Courier and local Fife newspapers. The project aims to focus on four seasonally available foods highlighting the importance of purchasing local in-season produce. Celebrating Seasonal Fife will work with producers and processors to maximise their product availability and profile, work with food outlets to create a local seasonal focus, and work with schools, colleges and consumers to increase knowledge of where produce comes from, how to access products, how to use them, and develop a greater understanding of the nutritional benefits of eating local seasonal produce.

Collaborative Bee Farming, Education and Honey Tastings

The Collaborative Bee Farming project is a collaboration with other Scottish bee farming businesses which removes obstacles to growth, by taking the financial risk of growing production away from bee farmers. The initiative places bees and hives with three registered commercial bee farmers, taking responsibility for capital costs and any colony losses. Collaborative Bee Farming then purchases honey from the bee farmer at the going market rate and brand/sell honey at local markets, farm shops, cheesemongers, and delis across Scotland. This then allows for reinvestment in the growth of bee farms promoting future sustainability and profitability.

Cook Ayrshire

The Cook Ayrshire initiative will deliver cookery workshops across the district of Carrick using fresh local ingredients. Cookery lessons will enable attendees to develop their culinary skills, develop a better understanding of local produce, healthy food choices, and methods to minimise food waste. Cook Ayrshire aims to bring members of the community together through a shared learning activity of cooking and dining together, promoting social cohesion, promoting the use of local produce, and building knowledge of the Ayrshire area having a strong connection and heritage of high quality produce.

Eaglesham Beer Festival 2019

Showcasing the best of Scottish food and drink, the Eaglesham Beer Festival is one for the social calendar. The festival has been running for four years, transforming Scotland’s first conservation village into a hotspot for the finest craft beer, artisan wines and market-leading street food. Having grown from around 800 patrons in 2015, to 3500 in 2018, the event is now a favourite amongst foodies and beer lovers alike. It is also hugely popular in the local community and this year, for the first time ever, will run over two-days marking their anniversary with a ‘fifth birthday bash’. Helping to encourage tourism to the local area, the Eaglesham Beer Festival helps to put traders and producers in touch, strengthening Scotland’s network of artisan food and drink producers. The fantastic event is one which has a positive impact on small to medium sized local businesses and the local tourism market.

Ethical Farming Conference

The Ethical Farming Conference is an opportunity to promote the South of Scotland as a leader in ethical and sustainable food production, raise awareness of ethical food products and food tourism experiences, encourage value-led innovation in food production, and enable knowledge sharing and collaboration across the supply chain. The project involves a collaboration between four businesses based in South Scotland. These are The Ethical Dairy (Dumfries & Galloway), Peelham Farm (Borders), Whitmuir (Borders) and Mossgiel Farm (Ayrshire). The proposed conference is scheduled to take place on 16th May 2019 and will be hosted at The Ethical Dairy in Dumfries & Galloway. The conference will bring together innovators and researchers with Scottish businesses who are producing food with an ethical value proposition. A potential outcome of this initiative is the launch of the first Ethical Farming Association in Scotland.

First Day Producers Market

Falkirk First Friday Producers market is an initiative which has been running for a number of years. ‘Falkirk Delivers’ invites local producers to showcase fresh produce directly to consumers on the high street. Falkirk First Friday Producers market aims to provide a platform for smaller, or home based, food, drink and craft businesses to reach a local audience in an atmospheric environment. There are currently 12 regular suppliers offering bread, cakes, dairy products, coffee, chocolates, pies, paella, donuts, fish and soaps. Regional Food Funding will enable the market to expand allowing more small producers to showcase their products directly to consumers. This will have a positive impact on these businesses and will increase footfall on the high street which in turn will boost sales in other high street businesses and outlets.

Food From Argyll / AITC Website Project

The Food from Argyll / AITC Website Project is a collaborative initiative benefiting multiple food and drink, and tourism providers throughout Argyll. The project will replace the existing website with a micro site embedded to the Argyll tourism webpage “Wild about Argyll”. This will improve the experience for visitors to the page, promote local food and drink producers, and local food and drink experiences. The new site will provide information on food producers, retailers, providers, and visitor experiences throughout the area. The site will act as a useful resource for tourists, as well as locals looking for contact information. Content will focus on conveying a sense of place, telling stories of provenance, people, community, and the environment, along with providing basic business contact details, address, and travel information. This initiative will benefit multiple businesses throughout Argyll and boost food tourism opportunities.  

Food From Fife Collaborative Marketing and Promotion Project

Food from Fife is a regional food group bringing together a hugely diverse range of businesses and stakeholders involved in the food and drink / food tourism industry across Fife, with the aim of raising the value of the region’s food and drink and food tourism industry. Regional Food Funding support has been obtained to develop the existing organisation’s website as the current site, which is a key tool in business/stakeholder engagement is no longer fit for purpose. The Food From Fife Collaborative Marketing and Promotion Project aims to develop an online shop window for all member businesses; inspiration for food tourists (and local communities) by showcasing the local food and drink of the region; and allowing the organisation to function more smoothly with a designated members/membership area. The new online portal will act as a digital shop window for food/drink in Fife and will also showcase the strength of the region’s local food and drink to consumers. This platform will also act as a signpost for consumers who actively look to purchase local food and drink, as well as tourist who look to pursue food/drink experiences/trails.

Food School Scotland

Food School Scotland aims to support the development of young people entering the world of work through inspirational & innovative educational programmes. The project collaborates with education, industry and employers to encourage the next generation into careers in the food & drink industry. Food School Scotland supports schools based in Glasgow, who work with young people with assisted support needs. Young people from these schools typically find it more difficult to enter the work force and would benefit from working with employers & suppliers in school before they leave and potentially end up unemployed and further excluded from the labour market. The initiative also aims to give parents a better understanding of the benefits of encouraging their children to apply for careers in Food & Drink, supporting their journey into employment, and achieving successful and sustainable careers.

Halloween Harvest and More

Halloween Harvest and more is a project which has reached maximum capacity for growing fresh fruit and vegetables which are sold in the Farm Shop, to a local café, at the Laurencekirk Farmers Market, and for families to ‘pick their own’ with Marie. Regional Food Funding will allow for another 6 x 30 metre polytunnel and 2 working pigs which will facilitate 20-30% more fruit and vegetable production over 5 years. The 2 polytunnels enable a continual 6 year rotation of growing pick your own fruit and vegetables and can hold events in any weather. The pigs will eat any harvest residual plant material, providing a biological method of controlling club root and promoting general soil health allowing the farm to achieve long term vegetable production and life cycle education to visitors.

The Regional Food Fund will enable the project to scale up the current “Farming in the Field” hands on educational experience with Marie picking fruit and vegetables, to be able to host and collaborate with a wide range of current and potential future suppliers, local businesses, educational establishments and tourism providers. These events would be a destination to the local audience and tourism for increased footfall to local businesses boosting the local and national economy.

Lochaber Food

Lochaber Food is a collaborative project which aims to stimulate sustainable food production and consumption within Lochaber. Agricultural output in Lochaber has reduced by more than 90% in the last 100 years and this project is committed to reverse this by bringing croftland currently considered as derelict back into productive use. The creation of this network will facilitate collaboration between producers, consumers and the tourism sector in Lochaber, promoting the regions distinct character and work to help build Scotland’s brand nationally in alignment with Ambition 2030 strategy.

North Ronaldsy Mutton - Scotland's First Presidium

The North Ronaldsay Mutton project is a collaborative project between North Ronaldsay Crofters and Wendy Barrie. North Ronaldsay Sheep is the only flock thriving exclusively on shorelines, hence their sobriquet ‘seaweed sheep.’ The mutton is sought after for its distinct gamey flavour. This initiative aims to support crofters by penetrating new markets in high-end restaurants and retail outlets, increase demand for fleeces in the expanding craft market, and resurrect traditional preservation techniques, recipe development, and research heritage dishes for North Ronaldsay Mutton. The key to its future Slow Food Presidium Status is linking people, community, heritage, culture, and food tourism on North Ronaldsay.

Skye Food Link Van & Taste Local Awards
Streetfood Zone at the Stranraer Oyster Festival

Stranraer Oyster Festival is a 3 day event celebrating the areas unique coastal heritage, culture, people and its fabulous range of fresh local produce. In 2018, over 14,000 visitors enjoyed a packed and varied programme including live cookery demonstrations, fishing demonstrations, performances, workshops, and arts and crafts. With Regional Food Fund support, event management will create a local/regional food & drink trading and streetfood zone, providing opportunities for producers to showcase and sell their goods, collaborate with other businesses and promote their businesses to consumers.

Sustainable Growing of Botanicals for Scottish Gin

Sustainable Growing of Botanicals for Scottish Gin is a local collaboration between a small livestock gin producing farm in Lanarkshire with a sheep and botanical farm in Peebles. The aim of the project is to establish natural botanicals grown in Peebles to allow local sourcing for Scottish gin producers. The project will focus on creating the right growing environment in Peebles to allow a wide variety of herbs, plants and fruit to be grown. The space will be used to allow new and existing growers land to grow botanicals for specific products. The produce will then be harvested and dried to meet the needs of the Scottish Distilling Industry. Drying the herbs will preserve the botanicals throughout the year allowing for consistent production. Currently, gin botanicals are sourced worldwide and there is a gap in the market to grow these ingredients locally. A local sourcing strategy will create a truly unique and sustainable Scottish gin from field to bottle.

Taste of Grampian

Taste of Grampian is a one day Food and Drink Festival allowing over 14,000 visitors to discover, sample and buy a wide range of produce from over 150 local and Scottish food and drink producers. Taste of Grampian encourages new, innovative and inspiring producers to showcase their products to the public, often for the first time. The event also actively encourages young people into the industry through pre-events and opportunities on the day. Following support from the Regional Food Fund the event plans to offer more opportunities for food and drink businesses to showcase their products directly to consumers. Through collaboration with food and drink producers, colleges, schools, hotel association and other local groups Taste of Grampian aim to continue to develop an exciting event that meets the changing needs of producers in a challenging marketplace. Further work will be carried out to engage with the community to tackle carbon foot print and reduce waste working in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council.

The Thistle Street Food Market

The Thistle Street Food Market was launched in September 2016 and became a regular monthly event from November the same year. It is an on-street outdoor food market held on the second Saturday of each month located in the West End of Aberdeen, an area characterised by independent cafes, bars, restaurants, boutiques and specialist retailers. The market’s selection criteria favours local farming, fishing, game, brewing, baking, cheese-making and growing, and focuses heavily on quality and provenance. The market’s primary objective is to encourage footfall to the West End of Aberdeen, thereby supporting the local food producers, the area’s permanent food and drink establishments as well as other retailers.

Thrumster Game & Countryside Fair

Thrumster Game & Countryside Fair is a community event showcasing the best of rural produce and pursuits. It is a forum for people to come and try various country pursuits such as shooting, archery, or fishing. It is also a venue to learn and try skills such as farriery, falconry, and sheep dogs. One of the most important parts of the event is to showcase the wealth and breadth of local produce available from the countryside – including beef & lamb, game, drinks, cheese, ice cream, charcuterie and much more. Attendees will also be able to meet producers and learn how these products are made. Regional Food Funding will allow the marketplace to expand allowing businesses to showcase their produce, and develop a cookery demonstration area to educate consumers on how to cook the local produce- starting with game and foraged items, alongside other produce being retailed at the show.

For more information email:

Regional Food Fund R2 - Funding Values
Applicant NameGrant Awarded (£)
Beer from Perthshire Larder5000
Castle Douglas Harvest Food Festival5000
Celebrating Seasonal Fife5000
Collaborative Bee Farming, Education and Honey Tastings5000
Cook Ayrshire5000
Eaglesham Beer Festival 20192500
Ethical Farming Conference5000
First Day Producers Market2624
Food From Argyll / AITC Website Project2000
Food From Fife Collaborative Marketing and Promotion Project5000
Food School Scotland5000
Halloween Harvest and More5000
Lochaber Food5000
North Ronaldsy Mutton – Scotland’s First Presidium5000
Skye Food Link Van & Taste Local Awards4500
Streetfood Zone at the Stranraer Oyster Festival5000
Sustainable Growing of Botanicals for Scottish Gin5000
Taste of Grampian5000
The Thistle Street Food Market5000
Thrumster Game & Countryside Fair5000

Case Studies: Round 2 Awarded Projects

Beer From Perthshire Larder

Projects Awarded During Round 3 Funding

Annan Harbour Festival

The Annan Harbour Festival 2019 will focus on Fish as its theme to acknowledge the importance of the fish processing sector to the local economy, and to raise public awareness that this industry exists because of Annan’s fishing tradition and heritage. The centrepiece at this year’s festival will be a large marquee packed with local food and drink producers showcasing and selling their produce to local people and visitors. A full programme of presentations will be delivered including a demonstration kitchen by local chefs, personalities and talented young people. There will be a range of rides and amusements to keep younger children occupied and hands on activities related to boat building, net knitting, shell craft, fish, and arts for older children. Local charities and voluntary organisations will occupy a village of gazebos to present their work in the community while a large contingent of coast guards and RNLI volunteers will put on displays.

Artisan Larder

Artisan Larder is an online shop and distribution service. Artisan Larder aims to build an ecommerce platform that celebrates Scotland’s small artisan businesses promoting their produce to tourists and locals who are conscious consumers, who want to source local, ethical and sustainable produce, with strong provenance. The products available range from basic larder essentials, bread, milk and eggs, to premium Scottish charcuterie and cheese. These can be pre-ordered and delivered to holiday lets or homes across Edinburgh. This project was born through the demand for high quality, local produce, that isn’t always easily sourced in one convenient location. Artisan Larder have built a strong relationship with both consumers and producers through Ostara Cafe and networks of Slow Food and the Food Assembly, providing the project with a strong foundation and relationships within Scotland’s food community. Edinburgh welcomes over 2 million international visitors annually, with it being the most popular Scottish destination during 2018. In 2017, there were 2045 self-catering properties, with the market growing annually. Artisan Larder aims to showcase Scotland’s small producers to these visitors, and give them an opportunity to buy local produce from local businesses.


The Berneray project was developed from a collaborative relationship with The Berneray Bistro and a strong belief that local food should be grown, and made available, for local people. The Berneray project is a community initiative which brings people together in a quiet rural location on the west coast of Scotland. The Berneray Bistro was taken over by new owners in October 2017 who brought in a chef to provide evening meals over the tourist season. The Bistro places a strong emphasis on local produce, but vegetables are still sourced off the island. The Berneray project seeks to plug this gap by growing specialist varieties of vegetables that will be made available to the restaurant and will allow them to add value to their menu throughout the busy tourist season. Berneray has a strong sense of community and this should be championed given its very fragile economic area. The longer term aim is to work collaboratively extending the network of suppliers and hoteliers to meet market demands and deliver high quality, local food to the community and visitors.


CLIMAVORE is a collaborative project by ATLAS Arts and Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe). The CLIMAVORE initiative looks at forms of eating that address environmental regeneration by promoting ingredients that proactively respond to the new ecological challenges of Scottish waters. The iteration in Skye is based on tidal zones on the coast of Portree on the Isle of Skye. Every day at low tide a section of coast is accessible to the public and functions as a dining table, providing tastings of recipes featuring locally produced seaweeds, oysters, clams and mussels. The initiative was activated by ‘Cooking Sections’ in collaboration with researchers, anthropologists, restaurateurs, fishermen and growers of the island. The overarching aim of this project is to explore how to diversify into innovative, collaborative, ecological aquaculture practices, like seaweed or bivalve farming, promoting the consumption of these products amongst local residents, restaurants and tourists, and developing skills and employment opportunities to young people on the island.

Deeside Local Food Festival

The Deeside Local Food Festival was formed in 2015 to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015. The festival was a great success with over 1,500 visitors and 26 stalls. Since then, the festival has grown in size and popularity. In 2018, the event attracted over 3,300 visitors and 62 local food stalls, demonstrating a strong appetite for local produce in the area with an estimated total food stall revenue exceeding £44,000. At the heart of the 2019 event will be a local produce market where food and drink producers will showcase and sell their produce. There will also be cooking demonstrations with local chefs, talks and hands on workshops. Street food vendors will offer lunch while visitors enjoy listening to live music from local artists. The event is designed to interest all ages with a range of kids’ activities on offer. The Deeside Local Food Festival aims to provide a stage for new, as well as more established, local food and drink businesses.

East Lothian Food and Drink Ltd

Collaborative marketing and promotion project

East Lothian Food and Drink Ltd’s collaborative marketing and promotion project The East Lothian Food and Drink project aims to build on the existing website to provide a platform for marketing and promoting food and drink, and food tourism throughout East Lothian. The web based platform will provide a tourist information section to drive visitors to foodie visitor attractions/centres for example; Belhaven Brewery, Glenkinchie, NB Distillery, Knops Beery Company and Belhaven Smokehouse. The site will also feature information about farm shops, delis, restaurants and hotels that support the use of local produce. This will help build an associate membership and will add to the food and drink community in East Lothian. The platform will also create a job vacancy section to build public interest by advertising job vacancies by members and associate members. This section of the platform will highlight the variety of opportunities which exist within the food and drink industry. The new online platform will also create a ‘members only’ section to build an online working community for rural food and drink producers to share best practice and information.

East Neuk Salt Company

The East Neuk Salt Company will see the creation of a new and exciting sea salt venture in the East Neuk of Fife. The project will include hand harvesting sea salt from the waters around the area through environmentally sustainable processes. During April to September the project will include solar evaporating sea water in large polytunnels and in the winter months will utilise heated pan evaporation methods. The East Neuk Salt Co. will be the sole producer of hand harvested sea salt on mainland Scotland. In addition, this project plans to offer a variety of sea salt products. These will include; gourmet salt at a variety of grades (crystals, flakes and fine salts) and will also develop flavoured salts such as smoked, wild garlic, seaweed and chilli. The production of the flavoured sea salt will involve collaboration with other producers in the area to have a positive impact on other local businesses, the local economy, and boost sustainable growth in the local area.

Flowers to Food - Pollination in sustainable agriculture and retail

Flowers to Food – Pollination in sustainable agriculture and retail Insect pollination supports sustainable agriculture and the wild environment. 75% of edible crops globally depend on insect pollination and in Scotland we are reliant on Honey bees to support some of our most important commercial fruit and vegetables including soft fruits, currants and apples. The by-product of this economic service is high value local Scottish honey. There is currently a huge increase in the demand from customers for healthy local provenance food and drink. Scottish honey is a perfect example of a premium and natural product that directly links us to our environment and our agriculture. This project will champion honey bees by facilitating five collaborative events between a local honey producer, a small pollination-dependent agriculture business, and a local delicatessen. The funding will help to create two small apiaries on site, to engage the public in the relationship between our pollinators and the food produced through interpretation and interaction. The hives will produce ultra-local honeys for retail at the deli and farm. Funding will facilitate five “flower to food” events in 2019 at both sites allowing the public to ‘meet the bees’ and learn about their vital role in sustainable agriculture and food security.

Food Heritage Scotland Scoping Study

The story of our food is the story of Scotland; our people, our communities, our history and our landscape. This project is a scoping study to explore how best to utilise Scotland’s food heritage to support the development of Scotland’s food tourism proposition, with a particular emphasis on delivery against the ‘storytelling’ pillar of the Food Tourism Scotland strategy, and to support forward planning for the Year of Scotland’s Stories 2022. The project will include primary research and a review of existing food heritage and industry assets. A parallel project with an academic focus is being explored which it is hoped will draw on university research and international learning.

Forres Feast

Forres Feast is an opportunity to raise the profile of quality fresh local produce from small-scale growers practising sustainable organic horticulture in the Forres area. Forres Feast growers supply local businesses and households with nutritious fruit, vegetables, herbs and salads. The challenge is that our small-scale nature is fragmented and is lacking cohesive visibility and collective identity. This project seeks to work collaboratively to create a more defined group identity so that we can align with wider food and drink initiatives which are currently emerging in Moray. Moray is a global food and drink tourism destination, with a rich, world-renowned food and drink heritage, based on its fertile soils, clean rivers, coastal fishing and benign climate. There is currently an evolving plan to promote Moray as a unique food and drink region and to develop strategies that include the whole spectrum of food and drink enterprises. Forres Area Producer Group wishes to be part of this initiative in future by collaborating through the Forres Feast project. The highlight of this project will be a ticketed celebratory community meal in Forres Town Hall in October, where local eggs, meat, fish, artisan bread, craft beer and single malt whisky from family businesses in Forres will take pride of place on the plate.

Future Food in Fife

Food and drink and hospitality is very important to Fife and there is huge potential for future growth. However, industry feedback suggests that recruitment into both food and drink production (including agriculture) and hospitality is a real barrier to growth and the raising of quality standards. This project aims to inspire young people to consider the hospitality/food & drink industries as an appealing place to build their career. Future Food in Fife will comprise joint activity with RHET Fife, Springboard UK and Food from Fife to engage with secondary schools across the region. This will bring inspiring people from the industry into contact with pupils at a series of activity days (in schools and at local businesses). These activity days will showcase the variety of jobs in the industry, appeal of such jobs and provide information on how to take next steps into building a career in the food and drink sector.


The Galloway Country Fair, at Drumlanrig, attracts over 15,000 people during the two day event. Each year we look to grow that audience by showcasing a wider range of countryside activities and introducing a range of specialist exhibitors to promote Dumfries and Galloway. This year, the event will include a “Galloway” hub on the showground featuring a range of Galloway based businesses allowing visitors access to enjoy a diverse range of products under a regional banner.

Glenkens Food Month

Glenkens Food Month will work collaboratively with local businesses and community organisations to create a calendar of events during September 2019 to promote the purchase and use of locally sourced and produced food and drink. This will include both the creation of new events, the enhanced promotion of existing events, and tweaking of existing events to celebrate local produce. Planned events include; food tasting, foraging workshops, community apple pressing, cooking demonstrations, and education events. The events will also aim to include the creation of a community recipe/cookbook, community days in the park catered by local food producers, and local food evenings at local pubs, cafes and restaurants. Glenkens Food Month will introduce new consumers to the wealth of local food on their doorstep, the benefits of prioritising it in their shopping, and create new relationships between local food producers and retailers. Events will also have benefits for community well-being, rural sustainability and the local economy.

Mey Highland Games

The annual Mey Highland Games is one of only two in Scotland with Royal Patronage and is the first in Scotland to include competitive para athletes alongside other male and female athletes. Mey Highland Games is traditionally a celebration of the local hospitality, culture and talent of the people of Caithness and across the North of Scotland. The event offers local small-cottage industries, food and drink producers, community groups, and charities a platform to showcase their produce, talents and community support initiatives. This event is being promoted and expanded to engage with tourists and locals whilst allowing many small local businesses and charities the opportunity to showcase their goods and activities for all.

New Gin Festival

The New Gin Festival seeks to create a brand new Speyside Gin Festival, combining the 13 Speyside companies who produce Gin with local hoteliers and businesses over the weekend of 12th to 14th July 2019. Events will be held in towns up and down Speyside including Aberlour, Craigellachie, Dufftown, Aviemore, Grantown on Spey, Rothes, Elgin, Forres, Lossiemouth, and Fochabers. The flagship event will be held at Gordon Castle in Fochabers on Saturday 13th July with local food, music, gins and cocktails.

Scottish Organic Produce Showcase

This project will celebrate and promote sustainably-produced Scottish food by telling the story behind organic and ethical suppliers at Whitmuir, many of whom are remarkable food pioneers. Producers include: Loch Arthur dairy, Farmer Bryce, the Ethical Dairy, Green City Wholefoods, and Barry Robertson. The Whitmuir farm shop and AtlanticOrganic at Whitmuir, the on-site café-restaurant, also sell Whitmuir Farm’s own produce – organic meats, seasonal fruit and vegetables and honey. This project will create a video and interactive map (both online and physically in the farm shop) to showcase different suppliers and feature a star producer of the month on displays and social media. The Farm will also host a “Meet the Producers” market day with produce on sale, talks and cookery demonstrations.

Skye Food & Drink Festival

Now in its third year, Skye Food and Drink Festival is a celebration of food and drink from across Skye and the surrounding regions. The festival showcases the variety and quality of food and drink grown, produced and served on the Island, reflecting Skye’s heritage, culture and rich natural harvest. Building on the past years’ successes, 2019 will feature a four-day festival trail during the week days which aims to encourage visitors to the Island who are seeking a unique and authentic culinary experience, and who wish to immerse themselves in the local culture. The food trail is designed to drive consumers to local businesses, some of which are situated in remote rural townships. By de-centralising the festival and including more venues, the festival is broadening its reach and providing wider access to Skye’s dispersed remote communities. Events include masterclasses, celebrity chefs, cookery demonstrations, local artisan producers, live music, cook-offs and cèilidh dances, culminating in the popular two-day festival market where producers and consumers come together under one roof. This year’s festival will focus on the theme of natural harvest and will include events in local foraging, Scottish heritage and the herb garden.

Spirit of Alba Gin and Whisky Festival

Spirit of Alba, a Kirkintilloch Whisky company, working in collaboration with East Dunbartonshire Council will host a Whisky and Gin Festival in Kirkintilloch Town Centre. The Festival will be a Centenary Celebration of Kirkintilloch’s own Rita Cowan and Masataka Taketsuru’s first meeting. They are recognised as the Mother & Father of the Japanese Whisky industry and held in high esteem within the Spirits industry. NIKKA Whisky will attend from Japan as will representatives from the Japanese Consulate. The Whisky Festival will add valuable supplementary activity to the Kirkintilloch Canal Festival, an annual event which attracts around 25,000 people. Aimed primarily at the whisky and gin lover, the Spirit of Alba Festival will exhibit the best of Scottish spirits. It will include multi-cultural history and heritage strands within the events programme to attract a wider audience. In collaboration with hoteliers, 40 whisky and gin exhibitors, restaurants and eateries, the project aims to increase sustainable visitor numbers into Kirkintilloch and East Dunbartonshire. Longer term, Spirit of Alba are working in partnership with a number of sizeable investors to develop proposals for a Whisky distillery and Tourism Visitor Centre in Kirkintilloch.

St Andrews Street Market

This project aims to run 3 food and drink street markets in the centre of St Andrews over a period of 3 months to bring Scottish food and drink producers together to showcase local and Scottish produce. Currently, a monthly farmers market is held in St Andrews which over the years has seen a reduction in footfall and subsequently traders. The farmers market is not situated in a good place to capture new customers and there are very few passers-by. In order to increase footfall, the market needs to be relocated and take on a new fresher look. This will hopefully see up to 30 food and drink traders attend the street market with local community groups engaging and promoting local initiatives.

Taste Islay & Jura

Explore Islay & Jura are launching a new event for 2019. “Taste Islay & Jura” is a Food, Drink and Foraging Festival that will take place on 20th – 22nd September. The aim the event is to increase awareness and sourcing of quality local produce, the project will showcase the proactive, cross-sectoral and collaborative working across Islay, Jura and Argyll’s producers, regardless of size or capabilities. The three-day event will encompass a Saturday market, cookery demonstrations, food tastings and pairings and competitions – as well as inspiring accommodation providers, restaurants and cafes to develop special local produce menus for the duration of the event. The event will also work with activity providers to develop special foraging and ‘wild’ and ‘mild’ adventure trips around the islands all with a strong food, drink and foraging theme. Young people on Islay & Jura will also be encouraged to take part inspiring them to view hospitality and the food industry as a viable and successful career path to aim for. Alongside the core event, online resources will be developed, including food trails and maps, raising awareness of provenance, local producers and providers, and making them more accessible to locals, visitors and buyers alike.

The Crafty Drinks Experiment

The Crafty Drinks Experiment is a collaborative project designed to challenge current thinking on how malt, a core ingredient in the brewing and distilling supply chain, is used to add value to Scotland’s beers and spirits. The project will bring together each part of the supply chain – grower, maltster, brewer, distiller and consumer – to develop a better understanding of how we interact to create brand value and new tasting experiences. On one site, using small-scale equipment, we will explore how different ways of interacting with our ingredients and processes can impact flavour and value. The International Barley Hub will be a key partner, to ensure that practical applications are supported by research and development to give credibility to the outcomes. A core aim of the project will be to educate people at all levels of the supply chain, to develop new ways of thinking and working that ultimately deliver a more diverse flavour experience for the consumer. In challenging, exploring, and educating, we can and will demonstrate that there are new or improved processes that can be used across the supply chain resulting in more resource efficient, profitable, productive and sustainable businesses.

Turriff Show Food and Drink Pavilion

This project will transform the food and drink marquee at the Turriff show providing producers with a new arena to showcase local food and drink. In addition there are also plans for a cookery theatre which will help make the connections between farming and food. In previous years, there was a lack of space and with growing demand for food and drink presence at the event, the Regional Food Fund will support the expansion into a new area which will be fit for purpose. The North East of Scotland has a fantastic natural larder and is home to some wonderful food and drink entrepreneurs – support from Connect Local will allow more producers to engage with customers to raise awareness of their products and the link between farming and food. There is considerable excitement around this year’s event which aims to provide a superb, memorable food and drink experience with the long term ambition of hosting the best, most professional food hall at any Scottish agricultural show.

Regional Food Fund R3 - Funding Values
Applicant NameGrant Awarded (£)
Annan Harbour Festival4000
Artisan Larder5000
CLIMAVORE: Educate5000
Deeside Local Food Festival5000
East Lothian Food and Drink Ltd’s Website Project5000
East Neuk Salt Company5000
Flowers to Food – Pollination in sustainable agriculture and retail4881
Food Heritage Scotland Scoping Study5000
Forres Feast5000
Future Food in Fife5000
Glenkens Food Month5000
Mey Highland Games5000
New Gin Festival4000
Scottish Organic Produce Showcase5000
Skye Food & Drink Festival5000
Spirit of Alba Gin and Whisky Festival5000
St Andrews Street Market4500
Taste Islay & Jura5000
The Crafty Drinks Experiment5000
Turriff Show Food and Drink Pavilion5000

Number of successful applicants = 22
Total funding awarded = £102,364

Case Studies: Round 3 Awarded Projects

East Lothian Food & Drink Ltd

Forres Feast

Projects Awarded During Round 4 Funding

Ayrshire Food Hub

At the heart of this project is a new Community Hub building which the trustees have raised £1.3 million of grant funding to build, on the derelict site of the local rural primary school. The Ayrshire Food Hub will be a focal point in the agricultural heartland of Ayrshire, open 7 days a week making and selling local produce and providing a community resource to support health and wellbeing, learning and employment in the area. The Hub will have a major focus on local food, housing a farm shop supplied by 40 local producers, community café serving local food, a test kitchen to support new food  businesses to bring their products to the market and community kitchen / outdoor growing area encouraging  “field to fork”.  Ayrshire Food Hub was scheduled to open in June 2020 but is currently “on hold” until COVID -19 restrictions are lifted and we can work towards a new launch date. Our staff and volunteers are currently deployed into producing simple  home-cooked meals (>600/week) for doorstep delivery to people in need.

Beer & Berries

Beer & Berries is one of the highlights of the Summer Festival at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath hosted annually since 2017.  This is a regional showcase event connecting food & drink producers and suppliers to buyers and customers. Beer & Berries is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the rich food and drink culture we are so fortunate to have across Angus and Tayside.  This popular event is free to attend and is hosted within the sunny sandstone walled courtyard of the historic house.  It’s the last days of summer, Saturday 12 September 2020, and Angus is bursting with fruit and full of grains grown thanks to the wonderful fertile coastal soils.  Visitors to Beer & Berries are invited to buy excellent quality food & drink from stallholders, and to meet the producers, growers and local suppliers of the best beer and berries in Scotland. The event will be managed differently this year to safely and comprehensively accommodate the special requirements for public gatherings as a response to Covid-19, and to enable the event to be the best it can be.

Bridge of Allan Food & Drink Town

To create a new initiative to promote the town of Bridge of Allan as a vibrant, diverse and unique location allowing local food and drink businesses to collaboratively build successfully a membership led food, drink and tourism business network. With collaboration of like minded quality businesses working with a defined purpose and set goals we will create an exciting new FOOD and DRINK TOWN. 

The application to your fund will assist start up funding and follows the recent collapse of our current trade body the merchant association, the demise of Destination Stirling and a nearby BID and a realisation by the food and drink sector locally that we are being failed by others to promote the wonderful businesses that provide food and drink tourism in our area. 

Following two years of discussions with like minded businesses and following a well attended initial meeting with businesses earlier this month to gauge support in creating a member-led Network.  Setting up a not for profit CIC will develop the collaborative nature of promoting the town, telling our story, branding, on line + social media channels, developing chef food events and festivals and adding value to the whole food, drink and tourism experience locally.

Building the profile of Scotland's Fine Cheesemakers

In 2015 Ambition 2025 a strategy for the Dairy sector in Scotland was launched and within this there was a focus in growing sales of artisan Scottish cheeses in export markets.  Whilst this is still work in progress, £1m of sales have been developed in c. 13 markets for members of the Fine Cheese Makers of Scotland who have the capability to export.

Ambition 2025 has been reviewed and a revised and updated strategy, articulating the ambition for Scotland’s Dairy sector to 2030 will be launched in Autumn 2020 due to Covid-19.

Within this the Scottish and UK markets have been identified as offering market growth potential for Scotland’s artisan cheese makers and this project is designed to support this market development through developing new routes to market, new collaborations and new innovations through the Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland group that will deliver benefits to the Scottish producers involved.

A key element of the project will be raising awareness of Scotland’s artisan cheeses initially with buyers in the retail , wholesaler and foodservice sector but also beyond that in the food tourism sector.  This project is a critical next step for the artisan cheese sector in Scotland.

Bute Kitchen

Bute Kitchen is a collaboration of food and drink suppliers and products from the Isle of Bute and has been developed as a cross-island initiative.

The brand Bute Kitchen will bring together the fantastic food and drink products grown and created on the island, creating marketing and sales opportunities for Bute’s farmers and growers, bakers, smokers and butchers, distillers, brewers and ice cream makers.

Bute Kitchen will develop partnerships and collaboration on and off island. Local buying will support local business growth and will inspire visitors to taste and buy local product, spreading the word elsewhere in Scotland, across the UK and internationally.  Significant primary products on Bute are dairy, beef and lamb. Secondary production includes smoked fish, beer and gin, cheese (including vegan options) and ice cream.  Bute Kitchen will build on existing business and community partnerships and collaborative activity already in place. Bute Kitchen operates as a membership body with a co-ordinator lead. Further information at or contact 

Crail Food Trail

​Our project is the development and delivery of the ‘Crail Food Trail’ as part of the Crail Food Festival 2020.

The trail promotes and connects food and drink businesses in Crail.  The Trail will be the mechanism by which the local businesses collaborate to promote their unique offering to visitors.  The project will commission a physical map which evokes the essence of Crail and the surrounding areas food and drink offering. It project will also highlight new produce collaborations developed as part of the Crail Food Festival programme.

2020 is the 10th year of the Crail Food Festival.  We are a festival which has always celebrated the very best in fresh, local produce and profiled the producers which bring that product to us.  The festival is a major event in Fife, attracting visitors from across the UK and which has continuing potential to make even more of a positive impact on our local economy.

In recent years we have become more aware of the role we should play in connecting our visitors to local, village based business, to introducing producers to each other and to kick-starting product collaborations.

Establishing a Highland Food & Drink Network

Highland Food Club. It will be a Food and drinks focussed club. Connecting the primary producer to the plate, creating a passion and knowledge of the highland larder along the way.  This Club will have multi strands of membership- from Primary producer right through to the consumer.  It will create food tourism opportunities, running B2C and B2B events, masterclasses and promote outside and inside of the region as a collective under the brand “Highland” with their own brands below- such as Orkney do.  Linking in with Scotland food and Drink’s Ambition 2030 and the Food and drink tourism strategies.  We see the future of the club as being the “go to” Food and drink organisation in the Highlands signposting to Scotland food & Drink/Connect Local/HIE/Business gateway/SDI and all the others involved in the Food & Drink Sector.

Festival of the Sea

The Clyde Fishermen’s Trust is a charity dedicated to coastal communities and raising awareness of all matters fishing related, from promoting seafood and sustainable fishing, to advocating for coastal citizenship and fair science, or connecting people to their maritime culture and heritage.  The “Festival of the Sea” is a collaborative event by the Clyde Fishermen’s Trust and the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, first held in September 2017 then becoming an annual event.  It aims to promote the Clyde fishing industry and all the delicious seafood it has to offer, as well as serving as a tangible link bringing together both rural and urban communities, who often forgert about their long-standing fishing connections, and to celebrate their shared cultural heritage.  We have the fishermen themselves cooking and selling their catch, along with local seafood businesses from across the Clyde, supported by a full programme of cooking demos and tasters by Seafood Scotland.  Additionally, we have a range of cultural activities on offer such as maritime storytelling, live music and dramatic plays.

Great Perthshire Picnic 2

​The Great Perthshire Picnic is a month long ‘virtual’ food festival occurring in venues, restaurants, cafes, retailers and makers premises throughout Perth and Kinross.  It celebrates local food and drink, raises awareness of the great offering Perthshire has and encourages more custom from both local consumers, and those from further afield.

It is now going into its fifth year (2020) and continues to get bigger and better.  The GPP team coordinate food and drink events throughout the local area under the one strong brand, usually in each businesses own premises.

We are specifically seeking funding to cover the costs of a resource or employee to lead the development of the Great Perthshire Picnic in a focused way.  To date, the GPP has been put together by the team at Giraffe as they carry out their ‘day jobs’ – the GPP has reached a ‘critical mass’ and having a (part time) year-round resource focused on recruiting and supporting businesses to take part will magnify the impact, the number of participating businesses and therefore the footfall and success of these businesses.

Huntly Hairst

The Hairst is a unique annual harvest festival taking place in Huntly.  This family event, established in 2002, celebrates the food and traditions of Aberdeenshire and is a much loved event on the local calendar.  It has something for everyone, from an extended farmers market with over 60 stalls, showcasing the best of local produce, producer talks and demonstrations, craft fair, cooking competitions, including the World Stovies Championship, craft beer festival, street food and Kids fancy dress tea party.  The festival is organised by a group of volunteers and one paid event organiser who completes the administrative part of the event.  The event is free, based in the main square of the town and throughout Huntly and is loved by the entire community as it brings a massive increase in local trade.  Over the event we collaborate with many community partners, the main one being the Huntly Room to Run event, bringing runners from all over the world to run the tough but beautiful courses.  This particular collaboration guarantees footfall for the day of approx. 3000 people.  Our aim this year is to develop specific areas of the event to showcase more food and drink producers in the Aberdeenshire area.

Lerwick fish market opening pop-up market

Shetland Food and Drink Ltd (SFAD), a membership company promoting local produce, plans to stage a members’ market on Wednesday 5th August 2020 to coincide with the opening of Lerwick’s new £7.6 million white fish market.  The new market building will be opened by a UK A-list VIP during Shetland Boat  Week and will uniquely see as many of Shetland’s 200 fishing vessels as possible at anchor to honour the occasion.  Around 500 invited guests will attend the fish market opening ceremony during the afternoon of Tuesday 4th August.  The day after this historic event Shetland’s fishing fleet will participate in a ‘doors open’ event which is expected to attract thousands of visitors from Shetland and beyond.

SFAD comprises 62 member businesses and organisations, around eighteen of which are likely to participate in this seafood sector event by staging a pop-up market in Lerwick fish market Wednesday 5th August.  This will be an unprecedented showcase opportunity for Shetland seafood retailers who currently have no dockside profile.  For the first time, the entire Shetland seafood sector will present a united front before an unprecedented crowd to offer spectacle, tasters and retail opportunities in the UK’s second largest port for fish landings.

Megginch Castle Neighbourfood Hub

We are going to create our own online local food market, connecting our community to the food available on their doorstep, and for visitors staying in our region offering them the opportunity to buy local food ahead of their visit.  This online local food market will use the Neighbour Food platform, which has been tested by both Forth Environment Link and Transition Linlithgow along with 16 other markets live in the UK and Ireland. We have been collaborating with 11 local producers to develop the project and Carse of Gowrie primary schools who will all play a role in delivering the project.

We would get 10% of the overall sales as the host organisation, the main beneficiaries would be our local food producers would receive 80% of their sales and the Neighbour Food Platform would receive `10%.  This is a great model for us, it is low risk and will enable us to improve our local food culture, increase access to local food for both local people and visitors, minimise food waste at source, and support our local food producers to find a safe routes to market, enable innovation of products, social networks to emerge for producers and consumers.

Moffat Eagle Festival

The Moffat Eagle Festival, in partnership with the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, will be held in Moffat during the w/c 13th September, 2020.

From the VisitMoffat point of view, the broad aim is to increase awareness of Moffat and encourage potential visitors to explore everything we offer, within the town and the surrounding the 300 sq kms of Moffat Hills.  The first event of the festival, in partnership with Moffat Farmers’ Market (FM), will focus on local food and drink producers – and, throughout the following week, will extend that focus to our local cafes and restaurants.

In the longer term, it is highly likely that Moffat will be known as The First Eagle Town in Scotland, and thus this focus on our food and drink will be sustainable. The event will also provide a jumping off point for future wholetown collaborations in which food and drink businesses work together – for example, plans are in hand for a Moffat Food and Drink Festival in 2021. 

Neighbourfood Blairgowrie and Rattray

The HEAT Project is an initiative of Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust, funded by Scottish Governments Climate Challenge Fund. We have three core areas, helping reduce household energy usage by providing a free advice service, reducing carbon footprint and increasing environmental sustainability, through the creation of an online food distribution platform and developing a Town Loyalty and Gift Card Scheme. We created an online local food market, connecting households in our project catchment area to food available within the immediate vicinity. This online local food initiative uses the Neighbourfood platform, supported by Forth Environment Link and Transition Linlithgow, utilised by similar initiatives in England and Ireland. We continually interact with local producers and various partners who assist in delivering this initiative.

Our project receives 10% of sales each week as HOST, the main benefit is local food producers receive 80% of their sales, with Neighbourfood receiving 10%. It’s an ideal model to deliver, being low risk, enabling improvement of local food cultures, increasing access to local food for residents and visitors, minimising food waste and miles, and supporting local producers in finding local safe routes to Market, enabling innovation of products, and allowing networks to be forged between producers and consumers.

Outer Hebrides Food Tourism Strategy 5000

The HEAT Project is an initiative of Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust, funded by Scottish Governments Climate Challenge Fund. We have three core areas, helping reduce household energy usage by providing a free advice service, reducing carbon footprint and increasing environmental sustainability, through the creation of an online food distribution platform and developing a Town Loyalty and Gift Card Scheme. We created an online local food market, connecting households in our project catchment area to food available within the immediate vicinity. This online local food initiative uses the Neighbourfood platform, supported by Forth Environment Link and Transition Linlithgow, utilised by similar initiatives in England and Ireland. We continually interact with local producers and various partners who assist in delivering this initiative.

Our project receives 10% of sales each week as HOST, the main benefit is local food producers receive 80% of their sales, with Neighbourfood receiving 10%. It’s an ideal model to deliver, being low risk, enabling improvement of local food cultures, increasing access to local food for residents and visitors, minimising food waste and miles, and supporting local producers in finding local safe routes to Market, enabling innovation of products, and allowing networks to be forged between producers and consumers.​

Platform Food & Makers Market

To create Glasgow’s only regular, weekly, Farmers/Fine food market.  A central hub, showcasing the finest local and Scottish food producers.  Where the people of Glasgow can source high quality, traceable, sustainable food from passionate local producers.

ScotRumFest 2020

​The Scottish Rum Collective (ScotRumCo) is a collaborative platform that brings together rum producers from across Scotland including Matugga Distillers, Spirit of Glasgow, Ninefold Distillery, and VS Distillers.

The collective champions the marketing and promotion of Scottish rum and is launching ScotRumFest – a new event for 2020 ( /@ScotRumFest).  A trade and consumer rum focused event with an emphasis on education, the first of its kind in Scotland, the event will showcase a plethora of Scottish rums to spirits enthusiasts, bartenders, buyers, press and bloggers.

Local rum producers will have the opportunity to showcase their company and expressions through sample serves and sales.  The festival will also promote the value, heritage and diversity of the rum category through masterclasses, educational talks, and entertaining demonstrations.  The inaugural festival will be held at The Merchants’ Hall in Edinburgh over two days (Friday 24th & Saturday 25th July 2020) against the backdrop of the Edinburgh Food Festival and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

South Lanarkshire Good Food and Drink Week

Use the launch of the South Lanarkshire Good Food Strategy to introduce and gather support for a South Lanarkshire Food & Drink Week in September 2020. The week would celebrate and promote local producers and restaurants.  This would include two markets delivered in conjunction with BID’s where exclusively local produce would be on sale to consumers. We would also be keen to use this week as a focus for any local food and drink related events in the area e.g. open days for producers/growers or anything else to promote the use of local produce in local restaurants, hotels, food service and tourist establishments (“meet the producer”).  There would also be a wider celebration of the sector this week within libraries, schools and tourism businesses.  We would aim for this to become an annual event.

This will bring better communications, linkages and collaboration between local producers and within the sector in general.  We are NOT seeking to establish a formal network at this stage, we ARE seeking to more collaboration between producers around a specific event.  The event would work as an incentive and catalyst for cooperation and could potentially lead to the establishment of a network in the future.

Speyside Producers' Market

We currently run ad hoc ‘Speyside Food Producers’ events whereby local Moray producers of artisan foods come together at our farm to hold sales events to local public. In addition to ourselves selling goat meat hogget and mutton, regular collaborators in this are Haugh Farm (selling pork), Edinvale Farm (selling beef), Thorabella (selling buffalo), Camilla’s Country Living (selling vegetables) and Moray Beekeepers (selling honey). All producers find these unique events valuable in building sales, especially to locals. We have surveyed visitors and key findings are that they wish to buy less meat but buy better quality which they define as both taste on the plate and also in terms of provenance of products, low environmental impact and local sustainability – especially quoting low transport miles. We have no facilities except for our barns and rudimentary shelters and tables from which to sell.  We are also limited in transferability to rotate the ‘market’ location around the producers.  This project seeks support to fund facilities to enable a more professional sales unit that can be moved around the producers as a ‘pop-up’ market to build the customer base and bring more producers into the group.

Stirling Local Food Business Network

This project will empower local food and drink businesses in the region to collaboratively develop their enthusiasm for a member-led food business network. Through a series of focused Gatherings and a launch event, the fledgling group will turn initial ideas into an established Network with structure, aims, and clear actions. Three ‘mobilising’ gatherings will garner momentum, members, ownership and ideas from the wider business community.  Building on the outcomes of these, three more ‘formalising’ gatherings will allow the Network to develop and decide their aims, structure, priorities, and early actions. Finally, the launch event will be collectively coordinated by the Network – to publicise their progress, communicate plans to the wider public, and facilitate further collaborations with others. This funding bid follows a positive initial meeting with businesses in November to gauge interest in developing a member-led Network.  A diversity of ideas arose from the wide variety of attendees from different sectors, sizes of enterprise and levels of establishment. Initial aims identified were increased connection and collaboration, telling the story of local food, and making it easier to buy local – with potential activities identified as formalising the network, a website, food trails/tours, branding, and becoming self sustaining.

Taste of Orkney Festival

The Taste of Orkney Festival will celebrate Orkney’s award-winning food and drink provenance, history and heritage, building Orkney’s reputation as a food and drink destination.  The three day festival will activate the ‘Taste of Orkney’ brand, with hands-on food and drink experiences, including workshops, demonstrations, meet the maker events, kids’ activities and tasting opportunities across Orkney.  There will be three key themes; fish, farm and field working with fish, meat and vegetable and fruit producers.  The key plank of the event strategy is to engage a nationally renowned chef to host it, delivering dining experiences and workshops using Orkney produce.  The event encourages collaboration with groups, organisations, businesses, producers, local chefs, restaurants, bars and cafes to create new food and drink experiences aimed at locals and visitors.  The event also will showcase the range of drink producers across Orkney through drinks sampling and pairing events.  We want visitors to leave with a love of our food and drink, an understanding of our food heritage and the part environment plays in its provenance and a desire to return to Orkney.

Regional Food Fund R4 - Funding Values

Applicant Name

Grant Awarded (£)

Ayrshire Food Hub


Beer & Berries


Bridge of Allan Food & Drink Town


Building the profile of Scotland’s Fine Cheesemakers


Bute Kitchen


Crail Food Trail


Establishing a Highland Food & Drink Network


Festival of the Sea


Great Perthshire Picnic 2


Huntly Hairst


Lerwick fish market opening pop-up market


Megginch Castle Neighbourfood Hub


Moffat Eagle Festival


Neighbourfood Blairgowrie and Rattray


Outer Hebrides Food Tourism Strategy


Platform Food & Makers Market


ScotRumFest 2020


South Lanarkshire Good Food and Drink Week


Speyside Producers’ Market


Stirling Local Food Business Network


Taste of Orkney Festival



Number of successful applicants = 21

Total funding awarded = £95,550

Cumulative Project Totals

RoundProjects FundedAmount Funding


Connect Local Legacy Infographic