Deadline extended for ‘Town of Food’ competition

THE DEADLINE for submissions for the Kilkenny ‘Town of Food’ competition has been extended to allow competing towns produce more detailed business plans.

THE DEADLINE for submissions for the Kilkenny ‘Town of Food’ competition has been extended to allow competing towns produce more detailed business plans.

Any rural town or village with a population of over 500 can enter the Kilkenny LEADER Partnership competition and up to €775,000 worth of grant aid and supports will be available to the winning town.

Competing towns and communities now have an extra four weeks to work on their business plans and fine-tune their entry, Kilkenny’s Food Strategy Coordinator, Kilian Duignan, explained. The deadline for submissions has been extended to March 25; the business plans will be presented to the panel of expert judges on April 4 and the winner will be announced on April 9.

A range of supports from Kilkenny LEADER will also be available for the shortlisted, runner-up applicants, Mr Duignan added. “We are very encouraged by the number of competing towns but it became very clear from the outset that towns wanted more time to work on quality submissions.

“We are now working with these communities on their plans and are really impressed by the level of interest, commitment and expertise out there. Competition will be intense and we really look forward to crowing our ‘Town of Food’ on April 9.”

To be eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate how the business, community and voluntary sectors can work together to develop a food culture within their community. They must also demonstrate their vision for their own ‘Town of Food’ and the long term viability of their project post funding.

The supports on offer are comprehensive. The winning town would potentially be eligible for up to €500,000 of grant aid for capital works as well as LEADER support and grant aid of up to €100,000 towards a three year program of food related training and education courses.

The ‘Town of Food’ could also be eligible for marketing costs of up to €75,000 towards the promotion of the ‘Town of Food’ concept and up to €50,000 towards operating the marketing plan over a two year period. Up to €50,000 is also on offer over a 30-month period towards a Coordinator for the project and the winning town will also receive the continued support of the dedicated Kilkenny Food Strategy Coordinator to ensure the success of the project