Up to €775,000 of grant aid and supports are available for the winning town, to be chosen by a panel including entrepreneur Bobby Kerr.
Mr Kerr said: “Kilkenny food producers, manufacturers and consumers are very passionate about their food. The food culture here continues to grow and we have been setting the standard nationwide. Competition for ‘Town of Food’ will be intense but we’re no strangers to intense competition in Kilkenny.”
The timeline for the competition is tight and to be eligible, a town must be a rural town or village with a population of at least 500 people. The winning town would potentially be eligible for up to €500,000 in grant aid for capital works.
The winner can also gain Leader support and grant aid of up to €100,000 towards a three-year programme of food related training and education courses; they also win marketing costs of up to €75,000 towards the promotion of the ‘Town of Food’ concept. Also on offer is up to €50,000 towards operating the marketing plan over a two-year period; up to €50,000 over a 30-month period towards a coordinator; and the ongoing support of the Kilkenny Food Strategy coordinator to ensure the success of the project.
Applicants must impress the judging panel with their vision for creating their ‘Town of Food’, explaining plans for any buildings and food-related training programmes.
The closing date for expressions of interest is Feb 6 and the final day for submission of application forms is Feb 27. The winner will be announced on Mar 6.