Food Festival Funding 2013/14

19 Feb

Getting this information from wag has never been easy and it would help many people if this came out earlier. I’m constantly asked by a few organisers, producers and some of our readers, when will the dates be available. This has meant I have posted rather a lot about this of late, but it does show you the efforts I go to to try and help. Now I can give you the latest news, direct from wag’s mouth. I shall refrain from saying the horse’s mouth bearing in mind the other top story – horsemeat!

Anyway back to festival funding. Yesterday wag sent out a comprehensive pack to anyone who is requesting food festival funding. Further down I have posted some of it so producers can understand the criteria wag are expecting the organisers to adhere to. Well, in actual fact the organisers must obey the criteria, otherwise – no funding will be forthcoming. The full pack has already been sent out to our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers but here is main part of the application which should be helpful:

Food Culture Grant Funding for Food Festivals Criteria – Annex E

The maximum Food Culture Grant available for Food Festivals is £10,000 or 50% of eligible costs, whichever is the lesser. All applications will be scored against the following criteria:

• All events supported will have food activity as the core. The whole cost of the event must be shown in the application form, however, only the following elements will be eligible for funding:

 Cookery demonstrations – Promoting local / Welsh produce  

Marketing / advertising materials  

Utility costs e.g. water / electricity / refrigeration etc.  

Stands / marquee costs

•Welsh Food and Drink producers must form at least 75% of the total exhibitors, with no less than 25 Welsh food and drink producers exhibiting to be eligible for support.

•Funding is not available for activity which adds value to an existing attraction, e.g. where a charge is made to enter a premises and the food activity is an added attraction.  Where the charge makes a direct contribution to the funding of the festival then these may be considered for support.

•Activity which adds value to an existing market (e.g. Farmers Market) will not be eligible for support.

  • All applications will be required to submit a business plan as part of the application process. As a minimum, your plan must cover the following matters:
    • Aims, objectives and targets
    • Governance and management arrangements with details of relevant experience and track record
    • Budget forecasts (income and expenditure projections)
    • Support from other public sector agencies, for example: local authorities and national governing bodies of sport
    • Details of other funding sources including private sector/commercial sponsorship
    • Risk Management
    • Marketing Plans
    • Legacy Plans and plans for achieving sustainability of the festival in future years
    • Welsh Language provision
    • Sustainable event management
    • Waste Management

 Existing Festivals over £10k will be required to submit a full set of your most recent Audited Accounts.

  • Existing Festivals under £10k will be required to submit a cash flow statement with opening and closing balances taken from your most recent set of accounts.
  • New Festivals, which have never previously applied for funding, will be measured on their application form and business plan alone with your financial proposals.

Should applications exceed available funding, criteria listed in Annex F will be considered when deciding who to award funding to.

A review team will consider each application on its individual merit, and in light of available funding.

The applications will be scored on the following elements in as explained in the criteria:


Evaluation Criteria Weighting
Number / % of Welsh food producers 20%
Supporting Welsh Government’s food and drink objectives 15%
Business Plan 40%
Additional Observations 15%
Value For Money 10%


Food Culture Grant Funding – Food Festivals Criteria  – Annex F

 The following points should be borne in mind when considering the criteria:

• Promotion of Welsh Food Culture

Clear focus on Welsh food and drink  / supported by strong programme of associated events.

Supporting a good range / quality of producers.

Well established / growth potential.

Supplemented by chefs demos / opportunities to showcase produce.

Awareness raising of the event by promotional material/ Press/signage.

Press, PR and marketing – budget identified/appropriate to the scale of event Greater awareness of local food – championing local producers.


  •  Benefit to Local Community

Educational or social function – building on benefits of fresh, local, quality produce.

Stimulating both the demand for local produce and the supply in the area.

Community engagement/participation Involvement of local businesses particularly hospitality sector.

Cultural entertainment.

Sense of Place.

  •Local Economic Benefit

◦Community links and partner organisational engagement.

Evidence of spend towards local economy e.g. wages / goods / services (accrue to the host community).

Economic impact on Producers.

Creation of jobs.


Building on the tourism offer / true food destination.

Stimulates new enterprise and business growth.

Other public and private sector investment leveraged.

  •Meeting objectives / aims of the Welsh Government

Grow the sales of Welsh food and drink in the Tourism sector.

Increase consumer confidence in, and awareness of the quality of food purchased in Wales.

Increase sales of Welsh food and drink.

The applications have to be returned by 11th March but after the number of organisers that have been anxiously waiting for funding news I just hope they have their details ready to go very quickly. I’ve been assured by wag food that I should have full details of successful applications w/c 11th April – which is a prompt turnaround bearing in the mind the number of applications expected in, are we going to take bets about the number that are filled in incorrectly? Perhaps not!!!

It’s also a bit of a eureka moment as at long last notice has been taken of welshfoodbites’ many food festival posts when I have moaned and moaned about the lack of marketing & promotion plans, press releases and signage. Let’s hope that when organisers complete these parts, they actually see it through and not just pay lip-service to ticking a wag box.

When the dates and financial details are sent through to me, these will of course be sent around our Best of Welsh & Borders producers and in due course published on welshfoodbites and It is very unlikely these will be published in Welsh Country magazine unless wag wish to do so.




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  1. Producer

    February 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    some news at last
    let’s cross our fingers that we get more good fesivals doing a decent job for their money this year.

  2. admin

    February 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    this is interesting but the sooner we get a full list of what is running this year the better
    grateful for all you work on this

  3. Trader

    February 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I wonder how different these criteria are from the funding in the past, and whether it has been influenced by the evaluation that was supposedly carried out?

    “The maximum Food Culture Grant available for Food Festivals is £10,000 or 50% of eligible costs, whichever is the lesser”. Does this mean the big three have had a drastic reduction in funding, or am I reading that wrong?

  4. admin

    February 20, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I’ve no idea what the pricey evaluation has delievered – I think it would have been useful if wag had have made Miller’s report easily available to producers but I’m not sure that ever happened. Maybe because that would have come under a ‘communication banner’ which certainly needs improving.
    I honed in on marketing and promotion, press, signage which as a regular reader you’ll know I hav ebeen banging on about this for years and years.
    Although I hope, I remain totally unconvinced that the big three will have a drastic reduction in their grants. I’m certain that they will all put together a very professional business plan, which in some cases will take into account their paid full and part-time staff, but will certainly include lots of hospitality and must-have headings to ensure their event costs lots to put on!!!!!

  5. Production Man

    February 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

    It is the case that the ‘big three’ will have a funding cut this year and as a result will probably need to cut the scale and size of the events and number of exhibitors because it is a bit late to be sourcing core sponsorship to fill the gap created by the shortfall.

  6. admin

    February 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    If I am understanding wag food’s wish list correctly, they have always told festival organisers, including at their conferences, that festivals should aim to be self-funding. I’m unaware if any food festival organisers have accepted this from wag, or just thought it was more hot air. But as they have been told repeatedly by wag that that is their aim, then I would have hoped that the larger festivals would have made efforts over the years to search for sponsors and that includes for this year too.
    I understand that the food festivals budget is likely to be cut again, although I guess that wag food would still have asked for more money, just in case. I don’t believe the big three have suffered massively over the years with budget cuts, but some smaller festivals were thrown out last year. I do know that because that was the first year I’d asked wag which festivals didn’t get the funding they’d asked for.
    I don’t think it is fair that we assume festivals will get funding, but we don’t know what Miller’s input was to wag, or what input Visit Wales has had either.
    It isn’t an easy situation, but I’m quite certain that the smaller festivals have little hope of finding a sponsor or even a ‘donor/benefactor’ they have very limited options to go for.
    It would also help if this funding system worked so that applications were sent in for the following year, in late autumn. Then the organisers found out by early December if they were being funded as it would help them plan. But from wwag’s point But then we don’t know if the paperwork sent into wag is done correclty or if the food team them have lots of questions to ask.
    Sorry if this is not helpful to you but as I say these are my views but no-one can pretend there is not huge pressure on budgets throughout Wales. We must make sure the money spent on festivals really works for producers, the local area and also for organisers – many of whom are volunteers.