The Causeway Coast and Glens Food & Tourism Network secured a further boost of funding from the Invest NI Collaborative Growth Programme to support the development of major commercial opportunities identified in a 3 year action plan.
The 3 year programme of work will include roll out of the Taste Causeway Brand and Digital Marketing campaign and tailored training and business support initiatives to assist local companies to enter new markets and take advantages of the tourism opportunities.
The Causeway Coast and Glens Food and Tourism Network currently consists of a committee of 15 businesses in the local food and drink sector including producers, hospitality and food and drink experience providers.
This group participated in an in depth Scoping Study to assess the commercial opportunities for the sector and develop a 3 year implementation plan.
Sharon Scott, Facilitator for the Network, said: “The first year of the Invest NI Collaborative Programme was all about scoping the opportunities and the potential of the sector to develop.
“The next phase will be about delivery, engaging the wider business community and key stakeholders, including an ambitious Taste Causeway Digital Platform which will allow businesses within the sector to communicate and collaborate with each other and be the cornerstone of a Taste Causeway Consumer Digital Marketing campaign.”
Linda Jamison, Collaborative Growth Programme Manager at Invest NI, said: “We are delighted to support the Taste Causeway initiative, which will see a number of local food and drink companies working in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
“We know that the area already has a reputation for excellence in both hospitality and tourism, and we believe that supporting the group to collaborate will provide further opportunities to showcase the wonderful products and services available to an even wider audience.”
Both Invest NI and Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council will work in partnership to provide ongoing support to the food and drink sector over the next three years.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers, said: “Our local produce is a unique selling point for the Causeway Coast and Glens Destination and in recent years we have started to realise its potential as an economic driver.
“The Collaborative Growth Programme offers an exciting opportunity for us to further capitalise on this by bringing the sector together and equipping it with enhanced knowledge, skills and expertise which will help to set us apart.”