Regional Food Programme 2016/17 Officially Opens For Applications

A new funding programme aimed at promoting the profile of quality regional food and it’s consumption has been officially opened by the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.

The Regional Food Programme (NIRFP) funded by DARD will assist the Northern Ireland Agri-Food industry to develop and expand profiable and sutainable markets by providing financial support in four main catergories:

  • Regional Fairs/Exhibitions
  • Information Programmes
  • Award Ceremonies
  • Seminars/Workshops.

Minister O’Neill said: “This is an important and welcome funding programme within our food and drink sector and has assisted the formation and development of many well-known food promotion initiatives including the Food Pavilion at Balmoral Show, Belfast Restaurant Week, Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend, the Farmhouse Breakfast Event and the LegenDerry Food Festival.”

“Last year we helped fund the new Stakeholder Potato Promotions Group, Festival Lough Erne, Moira Speciality Food Fair and the Food Heartland Forum. We have also used the fund to encourage collaboration between all sectors and representative bodies with the local food industry.” – Stated Minister O’Neill.

Applications have now opened for projects taking place from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. Applications are also welcomed for projects contributing to the Year of Food and Drink 2016.

Scheme rules mean that only not-for-profit agri-food groups representative of producers and/or processors who have local membership, registered charities or not-for-profit regional development agencies can apply. Applications for collaborative ventures involving two or more eligible organisations working together to deliver the objectives of the Programme are encouraged.

Closing date for completed applications will be 12 noon on Wednesday 2 December 2015. An application form for funding can be downloaded from the DARD website or obtained from the following contact details:

NIRFP Management Team
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Room 518
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road

Telephone: 028 9052 4497