AN ONLINE food market for Stirling has been rescued after a threat of closure.

Stirling Food Assembly was set to close after the French organisation behind it announced this summer it would be pulling out of the UK, closing all 70 of its markets.

However, Cork chef Jack Crotty, known as The Rocket Man, has come to the rescue with a new platform NeighbourFood.

Stirling’s market is managed by Forth Environment Link, which had vowed to find a solution to allow services to continue and meet the city’s growing appetite.

The new platform will work in a similar fashion and allows local farmer and small-scale producers to shell their produce directly and keep an 80 per cent share of the profit.

Emily Harvey, development manager at Forth Environment Link, explained: “Food Assembly may not be performing well across the UK, but Stirling is bucking that trend.

“We’re ranked among the top five Food Assemblies in the UK and have attracted over 2,000 members.

“We’re really looking forward to working with Jack and his team and building on what we have grown here in Stirling.

“Like Food Assembly, NeighbourFood will be a sustainable way to food shop, that supports local producers and cuts down on food miles.”

The new service should be operational with the first collection taking place at Stirling High School tomorrow, Thursday October 4.

Founder Jack Crotty, who began his career as a chef, set up his The Rocket Man restaurant six years ago, looking to use local produce to create “quick food”.

Since then the entrepreneur has also started running farmers’ markets from a derelict farmyard in Cork, where he also sells his own salad produce.

Jack said: “As a small-scale producer and chef, I understand the challenges local producers face to get a fair price and the difficulties people experience trying to source fresh local produce.

“NeighbourFood aims to solve both of these issues and build a community at the same time. We can’t wait to launch the new market and get our teeth stuck in!”