Drogheda-Market-Featured-ImageEarlier today Ulster Bank announced the winners of its second round of the 2016 Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund, a fund that supports community projects that help people access education and employment or to start a business. And guess what? GIY is one of the four awardees alongside Longford Womens Link (Longford) Suas Educational Development (country-wide) and Inner City Enterprise (ICE), Dublin. Hooray!

GIY will receive €34000 to establish our nationwide Cottage Market programme – giving people in rural communities the training, skills and ongoing support they need to set up community led markets for grassroots producers and micro-enterprises.

Commenting on the funding awarded this year, Pauline McKiernan, Sustainability Manager at Ulster Bank said: “Providing help for what matters is at the heart of what we do at Ulster Bank. The Skills & Opportunities Fund gives us the opportunity to help community projects make a real impact in their local areas. The calibre and variety of projects shortlisted for this year’s fund was incredible. We are delighted to be able to support these groups and help them to make a difference to the communities they serve.”

cottagemarket2Speaking about the funding received, Michael Kelly, Founder of GIY said, “Thanks to the fantastic support and funding from Ulster Bank, GIY will now get to work with urban and rural communities all over Ireland to create community-led markets that reflect the diverse skills and interests of people from those areas. Together we will create a platform for cottage industries and micro-enterprises and help communities to grow in more ways than one.”

We’re putting the final details of the training programme together but it will definitely cover keys areas such as How To Set Up A Cottage Market, How to Market Your Market and of course a session dedicated to the all important world of Social Media. The plan is to run the training programme at GROW HQ, our National Food Education Centre and other great location across the country in Spring 2017. We also have funding available for community groups to put towards market insurance and key items such as tables, gazebos and blackboards- the bunting we’re pretty sure the community crafters can sort out! Watch this space for more details but start thinking about where you could hold your Cottage Market and as ever get in touch with any questions! For inspiration check out The Cottage Market Ladysbridge, The Cottage Market Drogheda, The Cottage Market Headford, and The Cottage Market Waterford on www.thecottagemarket.ie and their respective webpages.