13 July 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fine Gael TD for Cork South West Jim Daly, is encouraging organisers of food and artisan markets in West Cork to apply for new Government funding.
The funding is aimed at boosting community based markets across West Cork. The scheme is open to all rural towns and villages with populations of up to 10,000 and offers potential funding of between €5,000-10,000 for development of existing or start-up local food and artisan markets.
The West Cork TD said “Those who are producing food and artisan products within their local communities deserve Government support. This is the type of project which supports rural development in a very practical way, as it helps stimulate commercial and retail activity in rural high streets. It also helps to develop a strong sense of community involvement and achievement.”
“I try to visit as many Country Markets across West Cork as I can as they are great venues to sample the vast range of high quality products made locally. The experience garnered at these markets and to see the huge crowds that attend week on week is truly mind boggling. They are attracting locals and visitors alike in vast numbers which gives our towns and villages a great boost. Last week I was speaking to a person who told me 3 people stopped their car at the square in Skibbereen looking for directions to the market in the space of 15 minutes as he waited there to meet someone, evidence in itself of the attraction these markets really are.”
“Under this Fine Gael led government, the agricultural and tourism sectors are booming. Almost 200,000 people are employed in tourism and 8,000 additional jobs will be created in 2015. This Government has also overseen a 40% increase in food and beverage exports since 2009, supporting 170,000 jobs many of which are in rural areas.
“I would encourage anyone who’s interested in this funding scheme for local food and artisan markets to contact the Department of Agriculture. Application forms and fuller schemes details can be found on www.agriculture.gov.ie/CEDRA/localfoodmarkets. The closing date is 14 August 2015.”