Regional Food Programme 2015 /16 Opens For Applications


A highly successful programme that provides assistance to raise the profile of our local food is now accepting applications.

The NI Regional Food Programme (NIRFP), which is funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), provides financial support for initiatives that raise the profile of quality regional food and encourage collaboration between all sectors and representative bodies/groups of the north’s food industry.

[caption id="attachment_52840" align="alignleft" width="370"]A selection of tasty seafood at Kilkeel Seafoods. A selection of tasty seafood at Kilkeel Seafoods.[/caption]

It has opened for applications for projects that will take place from 4 May 2015 to 31 March 2016.

A DARD spokesman said: “Since its inception in 2007, the programme has assisted the formation and development of many well known food promotion initiatives such as; the Food Pavilion at Balmoral Show, Belfast Restaurant Week and the LegenDerry Food Festival. Examples of new initiatives in 2014/15 which were offered assistance included the NI Potato Festival, Lough Neagh ‘River to Lough’ Festival and Craigavon Food & Drink Forum.

“The aim of the programme is to promote quality regional food and to help increase its consumption by provision of financial support in four key areas namely: Regional fairs/ exhibitions, information programmes, award ceremonies, and seminars/workshops.”

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. In support of the recently announced cross-Departmental industry partnership ‘Year of Food 2016’, NIRFP applications linked to this initiative will also be considered for funding.

The closing date for completed applications will be 12 noon on Friday 10 April 2015.

An application form for funding can be downloaded from:

or obtained from the contact details below:

Ms Una Hollywood Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Room 518 Dundonald House Upper Newtownards Road Belfast BT4 3SB Tel: 028 9052 4497 E-mail: