Winner: Ferbane Food Campus, Co Offaly

Summary
The Ferbane Food Campus is an innovative flagship project in West Offaly. Bord na Mona and the ESB rationalised in the 90’s significantly reducing local employment. In response, Ferbane Town Development Committee was established and drew up an initial 5 year plan, an outcome of which was the development of the Ferbane Business and Technology Park, now fully owned and operated by the community. Subsequent to a feasibility study in 2012, the Ferbane Food Campus was also established in the business park. Phase 1 was the development of a time-share kitchen and training facility for people trying to develop new food related products with market potential. This is now used by a range of local entrepreneurs. Phase 2 is to secure premises for food incubation businesses, as a step up facility for those using the kitchen, and phase three will focus on attracting established food producers to the campus to increase local employment.

Group Contact: Kevin Gavin kevinpgavin@gmail.com

Citation
This innovative winning entry evolved as a response to the loss of more than 1200 jobs from the downsizing of two major employers in the area. They created a business park upon which the prime focus was producing food related products and providing employment and providing training opportunities for many more. This initiative is making a real difference!

Runners up:
– Drumshambo Community Council, Co Leitrim
– Piltown Community Enterprise, Co Kilkenny