Breaking into new markets can be tricky; particularly if you’re a small producer running your own business, responsible for everything from making to marketing and everything in between. GROW’s Roots to Craft cooperation project aims to support local rural craft businesses to improve their skills and look at the potential of export. Crafters from across rural Antrim & Newtownabbey visited Latvia and Finland, taking in a range of artisan producers and exchanging skills and experiences with entrepreneurs in other areas. Each country partnering in the cooperation project has hosted a festival exchange. Participants sharing origin stories of their own crafts, exploring other traditions and cultures and learning what works for different markets is all part of the project. Partners in Mexico have also been involved, providing an international perspective. A total of fifteen craft producers in our area have benefited from the project by taking part in elements of the craft festivals.
About GROW & the Rural Development Programme
GROW South Antrim has been appointed in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area to implement the LEADER element of the NI Rural Development Programme 2014- 2020 in rural South Antrim. The Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
At a local level the programme is strategically delivered and implemented by a Local Action Group (LAG) comprised of 16 representatives from council, business, community, agriculture, and statutory sectors within the local area. This is supported by a wider LAG made up of up to 40 additional members from all sectors of the local community.