Mag and Ger Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout Farm
Funding of €500,000 has been allocated to Goatsbridge Trout Farm, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny for the upgrade of production facilities according to Deputy John McGuinness who has welcomed the news today.
The funding is part of a national scheme announced today by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., awarding €1,811,461 in grants to 28 aquaculture companies under his Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. The grant awards will support a total investment of €4.5 million in the aquaculture sector. The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union and are subject to terms and conditions.
Minister McConalogue said, “I am delighted to be in a position today to provide €1.8 million in grants to 28 ambitious aquaculture companies to further the growth of their businesses and our aquaculture sector. These grants will support €4.5 million in investment in oyster, mussels, trout and seaweed farming. Despite two major challenges in the form of Covid and Brexit, these 28 aquaculture businesses are showing confidence in the future of their sector and are expanding their production to meet strong market demand for their quality products.”
Minister added, “In recent years my Department invested in eliminating the licensing backlog for shellfish aquaculture producers and this is I believe being reflected in the large number of grant applications being submitted by shellfish aquaculture producers, showing renewed confidence in their capacity to expand with regulatory certainty.”
Welcoming the news locally, Deputy John McGuinness said "this is very positive news for a fantastic local venture in Thomastown where three generations have passed down their unique knowledge and experience of farming rainbow trout. The funding will be used to upgrade their production facilities, greatly enhancing a local business and visitor attraction which is always positive for the local community.
Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness said, "I'm delighted for the Kirwan family and all of their staff as this funding will help them to take what is already a fantastic business to a new level. Not only is this a positive investment in a great local business, its also an investment into local tourism as Goatsbridge Trout Farm does attract visitors which is very beneficial to the local community in Thomastown and surrounding areas also.