World Region of Gastronomy Feasibility Study

Project Name

World Region of Gastronomy Feasibility Study

Project Partners

Atlantic Technological University and food sector

Role of Galway Culture Company


Strategic Aim

This project falls under our first strategic aim;

Facilitate EU and International Relationships and Funding

Project Description

In the summer of 2016 ATU Galway City (then known as GMIT) was invited to join stakeholders from across Galway to participate in a newly formed steering committee. This committee was to guide and advise the local government on an application to the European Commission for Galway to be considered as a European Capital of Culture in 2020. 

During these early conversations one central theme that emerged from stakeholder engagement was the importance of the collective food community across the region. Tourism, culture, and food are key employers across the county and these sectors provide critical employment in villages, towns, the city, and the islands. 

During the bid process, the importance of the food sector in the county and city became obvious and a Steering Committee was established to explore the European Region of Gastronomy designation.

In March 2017 an application bid was presented to IGCAT – Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism who manage the Regions of Gastronomy platform, and both Galway and Brabant won the designation for 2018.

Project Outcomes – what we expect from this project

In mid-2023 Atlantic Technological University signed an MOU with IGCAT. The main reasons for doing so were to first remain part of the network of regions and serve as an academic partner to IGCAT and member organisations. Second, ATU agreed to investigate the possibility of the West / Northwest of Ireland (a region designated by the European Commission) to develop and submit a bid to IGCAT in 2025 to become a future World Region of Gastronomy. 

The study will focus on the following factors:

  • The viability of the project to determine whether the bid is likely to succeed. The study is also designed to identify potential issues and problems that could arise while pursuing the bid. 
  • The study will also determine if there are sufficient people and resources available to see this bid through to completion and the development of a legacy plan.
  • The study will also consider the benefits of the designation to the region using existing designations and engagement with stakeholders in these regions.

Galway Culture Company are delighted to partner with ATU on the project and assess the intersection of both legacies of European Region of Gastronomy and European Capital of Culture to explore a World Region of Gastronomy for the west of Ireland with Galway as a lead.

How this project is funded

Galway Culture Company, which is supported by the Government of Ireland under the National Development Plan through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Atlantic Technological University.