Sue and Cliff Hewett from The Gin Thing

SECOND HELPING FOR RURAL FOOD AND DRINK

Applications are now open for a second round of funding to help rural food and drink businesses recover from the impact of Covid.

Thanks to the Scottish Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER has £25,000 available to help eligible local businesses get back on their feet; having already given away £25,000 back in April.

Businesses can apply for grants of up to £1000 to help them adapt their operations to Covid-19 restrictions, from purchasing more outdoor seating to running socially distanced events.

LEADER Programme Manager Anne-Michelle Ketteridge said: “The fund is designed to help local food and drink businesses bounce back from Covid-19. We’d particularly like to hear from rural businesses seeking to diversify, innovate and get creative.”

She added: “As well as making adaptations to keep customers and staff safe, such as indoor screens and outdoor dining, businesses can use the funding to improve their online presence or to run socially distanced events.

“With the Scottish Wild Food Festival and Forth Valley Food Festival coming up later this year, it’s a great time for local producers and eateries to start planning an in person or virtual event to promote their business to a wider audience.”

The Gin Thing was one of the local businesses to benefit from the first round of grants.

Owner Sue Hewett said: “After a very challenging year we’re looking forward to getting back on the road with our mobile horsebox gin bar. The grant has enabled us to buy queue barriers, screens and Covid-19 signage so that we can ensure social distancing at our forthcoming events across Scotland.”

To apply for a grant, click here. For further information or to check on eligibility, please email Carolyn McGill on mcgillc@stirling.gov.uk.

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