Tea on Tayside

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A Scottish first has been achieved by the Angus LEADER and counterparts in Fife and Perth & Kinross, with the founding of their first cooperative project award.

Lifting the award is Artisan Tea Gardens Ltd, a collaborative partnership of nine tea growers, two in Angus, five in Perth & Kinross and two in Fife, who aim to grow 100 per cent Scottish tea for lovers of traditionally-made produce.

They have been awarded £49,550 by the local area groups in Angus, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

Growing the tea is technically challenging in a Scottish climate and the product will, therefore, command a premium price among tea enthusiasts. To overcome the challenges of establishing, growing, tending cropping and processing Scottish tea, the project includes specialist advice from expert tea consultants and special equipment for working in the individual gardens.

Once established, hopefully within two or three years, the group aim to develop a tea-trail around the sites, allowing their fans to see the gardens and compare the teas.

Angus LEADER coordinator Dave Tollick said: “Artisan Tea Gardens Ltd have two years of development work to look forward to at sites across Angus, Perth & Kinross and Fife. The potential is for the gardens involved to provide ground-breaking new tea products and, eventually, to develop training courses for growers and, hopefully, a tea-trial around the gardens for tea fans. Vodka, gin and now tea are all being made in Angus…who’d have thought?”

LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) are made up of representatives from local communities, businesses and organisations with an interest in rural development. They meet quarterly to approve LEADER grants for communities and businesses in their local authority area.

The LAG LEADER 2014-2020 rural development programme is part-funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community and aims to improve the quality of life and prosperity in rural communities through locally driven initiatives and projects.

LAGs oversee grant funds and assess and recommend projects for approval, based on the delivery of the outcomes of a Local Development Strategy.

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