Noel Harrington

FINE Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington has welcomed the announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that €5 million in funding will be provided in 2012/2013 to support the creation and development of agri-food enterprises in rural Ireland.

Based on recent research conducted by the Local Development sector this funding has the potential to create more than 200 jobs directly as well as sustaining a number of jobs currently available in the sector.

This funding, provided under the Adding Value to Agricultural Products measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP) will bridge the gap generated when this type of funding was suspended under the Business Creation and Development Measure of the RDP in early 2011 and will provide much needed support to Artisan food producers in Ireland. The funding will be delivered using the “bottom up” LEADER approach through the 35 Local Development Companies contracted to deliver the RDP in Ireland.

“This announcement is most welcome particularly for West Cork, the home of artisan food in Ireland, where the funding will be of great assistance to new and existing food producers.

“I would encourage interested people to engage with West Cork Development Partnership to access this support,” said Deputy Harrington.

Anyone wishing to inquire about this funding should contact the West Cork Development Partnership www.wcdp.ie.