A GRANT scheme of has been launched in the Stroud district which is offering £100,000 to stimulate the economy by encouraging the production and consumption of local food.

As part of its jobs and growth agenda, Stroud District Council has started the Stroud District Food Grants scheme and is looking for food-related projects to inject funds into.

It is aimed to develop and grow existing businesses, create jobs, develop skills, encourage sustainable land management as well as raise awareness of the links between locally produced food and healthier lifestyles.

Successful proposals could include production, food processing, marketing and catering as well as broader education schemes.

Environment committee chairman Cllr Simon Pickering said: "It has a unique blend of benefits - producing and selling food locally keeps money in the district, and begins to develop our resilience to future climate change. There are also health benefits in eating food with less additives.

“We’re confident that local organisations will come up with innovative ideas to realise these benefits. Our grants are intended to turn these ideas into reality."

Details of the Stroud District Food Grants scheme can be found at www.stroud.gov.uk/foodgrants. Applications must be received by Friday, March 14.