Neagh bother! Lough festival is a huge hit as food vendors sell out

THE organisers of the first Lough Neagh Artisans Market have hailed the event a phenomenal success.

Attracting almost 4,000 visitors, food traders sold out in record time at the event at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, Toome.

The market hosted by Lough Neagh Partnership was a pilot aimed at showcasing local produce, arts and crafts from the shoreline of Lough Neagh and right across Northern Ireland.

Attended by members of the Lough Neagh Artisans Group which included: Annie’s Delights, Bakehouse NI, Gold & Browne’s, TIDAL Toome at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, Noreen’s Nettles and Woodlab Distillery, they were joined by artisan traders from across Northern Ireland including: Art By Marcella McAuley, Ballylisk of Armagh, Ballyriff Buffalo, Bathe Botanicals, Causeway Cookie Company, Country Lane Candles, Granny Shaw’s Fudge, Hugable Bears, Irishmanlost, Juliana Made This, Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative, Mary McMinn, Molly & Me, Moocha Kombucha, Mourne BeachArt, Mrs B Crafts, Nitted Things, Oh Hey Crochet, Pawsome Treats, Pyrocrafts by Shauna, Randalstown Men’s Shed, Scarlett Aromas, Seaview Farms, Simple Home Holism, Small Eco Changes, The Daily Apron Bakery, The Little Shop of Plants, The Mermaid’s Jewellery Box, The Snowdrop Workshop, The Wee Wooden Company and Willow Moon Ireland.

Visitors flocked to the four hour market from as close by as Toome to as far away as Fermanagh and as well as sampling the sights and sounds and tastes of Lough Neagh, accompanied by local singer Malachi Johnston, they also had an opportunity to take a boat trip along the Toome Canal or enjoy an eel supper at Grans.

Gerry Darby, Strategic Manager at Lough Neagh Partnership, said: “We are so proud of the success of the first Lough Neagh Artisans Market. The event was created to showcase the vast array of high quality locally produced goods, from here on our doorstep to right across the country and, with food traders selling out in record time, we certainly achieved what we set out to do. I would like to pay tribute to the visitors who attended in their thousands, as they truly made the market the success that it was. Lough Neagh Partnership is already exploring ways in which we will be able to make the Lough Neagh Artisans Market a regular feature in our events calendar.”

Roisin Lagan from DAERA’s NI Regional Food Programme (NIRFP) said: “The Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme was delighted to provide funding support for the first hugely successful Lough Neagh Artisans market.

“This artisan market was an excellent example of customers supporting their local producers by purchasing high quality sustainable Northern Ireland food and drink products.”

The Lough Neagh Artisans Market was hosted by Lough Neagh Partnership and was jointly funded by DAERA’s NI Regional Food Programme, Rural Development Programme and The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas and the UK Community Renewal Fund which aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

To find out more about the Lough Neagh Artisans Group, please visit: or follow Lough Neagh Aristans on facebook @loughneaghartisans; instagram @loughneaghartisans and twitter @artisansln.

If you would like further information about Lough Neagh Partnership, please visit: or follow Lough Neagh Partnership on facebook @loughneaghpartnership and on twitter @loughneaghpart.

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