Regional Food Fund - Awarded Projects

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

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: https://farmerjones.co.uk

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.