NWRC Foodovation and Glenshane Country Farm

Connected funding was used for the initial meetings with Jamese at his farm to allow for NWRC to fully assess his needs, and also to help him identify available funding pots to help with the running of the project. 

About the Case - The Challenge

Glenshane Country Farm is a working sheep farm owned by Jamese McCloy. Four generations of Jamese’s family have been sheep farmers, each more determined than the last to preserve the epic landscape around them. Located on the Glenshane Pass, one of the highest mountain roads in Ireland, from here you can see the real Ireland. Jamese began offering tours to visitors in 2019 and has since become a valued and highly respected provider of a truly authentic Irish experience.

Glenshane country farm has recently received a grant from Tourism NI to invest in a large visitor centre on site. Jamese has built a strong business in the tourism sector and is now moving his business towards retail and food service with this investment – to be able to give a full experiential immersive experience in the Sperrin mountains to his many international visitors.

Through the development of the new visitor centre Glenshane Country Farm would like to be able to develop a full experiential immersive experience allowing international visitors to sample the traditions of Ireland on the farm alongside the sheep dog experience. As part of experiencing the land he would like to develop a food option served on the farm to compliment and please their visitors. This task was to create a three-soup option with ingredients locally sourced complimented with home baked wheaten bread, sandwiches, tea/ coffee and home baked traybakes. To be able to extend this experience he would like to develop retail products to sell in his visitor centre such as wheaten bread mixes which international visitors could take home after the experience to be able to enjoy again. In addition, he has the option for online sales and retailing his own brand of mix across Ireland which will allow his brand to be available to many more than those who can’t physically attend the farm.

The issue is Jamese does not have the food production or development experience to be able to develop these products himself – he requires a knowledge provider to support him to create the traditional recipe, adapt them into functional dry mixes and provide all the food safety, and legal information for on pack labelling to allow him to launch successfully. Jamese would also need to be supported in safe and efficient food production processes for these mixes or supported to identify a production partner to produce such products.
The Solution

Connected funding was used for the initial meetings with Jamese at his farm to allow for NWRC to fully assess his needs, and also to help him identify available funding pots to help with the running of the project.  The college work with Jamese to help him unlock areas of potential funding  and  build a compelling project application with sufficient research completing to highlight the market need and potential business benefits through its delivery. As part of this process Jamese also applied for an Invest NI innovation voucher and successfully received the funding.  The project was then completed over the following nine months to deliver Jamese with the deliverables and working prototype concepts ready to launch at a suitable time for his business


Connected help put me on the road to engaging with my local college. As a result, I was able to successfully apply and receive an innovation voucher from InvestNI. This voucher helped with the funding of our ideas and opened doors to the professional people who then guided us through the process of bringing these ideas to life. Karen Marran and her team at Foodavation had the knowledge to advise us on a structured plan of approach to succeeding with this, and had the skillset needed to train us in following these plans through to completion. All in all, a very positive learning experience which has helped our Glenshane Country Farm business grow.

Quotation from Client Company