Regional Food Fund - Awarded Projects

Discover more about projects which have been supported by the Regional Food Fund

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.

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £2500

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £2624

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.  

Grant awarded: £2000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

Online Materials to Support Small Food Producers

Project TBC

Grant awarded: £4076

Skye Food Link Van + Taste Local Awards

Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC is an established food network organisation on the Isle of Skye. A few years ago it was responsible for a very successful food and drinks awards celebrating local produce. The CIC wishes to resurrect these awards and the taste local brand in order to rejuvenate interest and support local producers. Part of this will include promotion of the food link van service which is vital resource for many micro food producers that make up the rich and diverse network of local produce on Skye. The awards will recognise the contribution that consumer Food and Drink businesses in the area make to the Local Food Ecosystem and individual categories will be judged on their commitment to local food production.

Grant awarded: £4500

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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.

Grant awarded: £5000

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:

Grant awarded: £5000