COMMUNITY groups are being urged to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 as part of a new bid to promote locally-sourced and produced food and drink.

A total of £250,000 is available through the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, which will support collaborative projects in their early stages.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “We’re very fortunate in Scotland to have a food and drink sector that is internationally renowned.

“It is a major driver in our economy and supports around 17,000 businesses, and 115,000 jobs, as well as providing an increasingly important contribution to Scotland’s unique tourist offering.

“The Scottish Government’s aim is to support the industry’s ambition to double its value to £30billion by 2030.

“In order to do that we’re working with partners to develop new and existing markets, boosting innovation and skills and supporting local producers via business rates exemptions and schemes like the Connect Local Regional Food Fund.

“These grants of up to £5,000 will support collaborative local projects, providing vital funding when these initiatives need it most.”

For more information or to apply, visit