June 13, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Good Growth Programme backs Cornish food and farming with £554k investment boost


Ruth Huxley and Council leader Linda Taylor
Ruth Huxley and Council leader Linda Taylor

A major project to boost the food, drink, farming and fishing industry in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has received a £554,800 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme.

Great Cornish Food aims to build the strength, success and resilience of local food producers, which account for almost one in five jobs in the local economy. And it has the ambition of making Cornwall and Scilly the UK’s number one region for low impact food production.

The project, which was officially launched this month, is delivered by the team behind the award-winning Great Cornish Food Store in Truro and has been made possible by a grant from the Good Growth programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

It comes at a crucial time for the UK’s food industry with global food supply threats and subsidy reforms highlighting the need for more robust and sustainable domestic food production.

Great Cornish Food will provide access to a wide range of skills, knowledge and tools to help businesses boost performance, attract talent, find new customers and explore new markets. Half of the Good Growth funding will go towards a new scheme offering easy to access grants of up to £5,000 (match-funded by the applicant and paid in arrears) to support eligible projects.

In line with ‘Good Growth’ principles there will be a focus on carbon neutral, nature-rich food production to encourage wider adoption of clean and green practices. There will also be a new Great Cornish Food Academy to inspire budding food entrepreneurs and attract new talent into the industry, including showcasing the range of career opportunities available to primary and secondary pupils as well as older people considering a career change. An awards scheme will promote, encourage and celebrate excellence. 

Ruth Huxley, managing director of the Great Cornish Food Store and founder of industry body Cornwall Food & Drink, said:

“Cornwall and Scilly are home to the widest range of foods producers in the UK from land and sea and we are renowned for the quality of our produce. But the industry is also facing headwinds in the shape of subsidy reform, the need to decarbonise and cost pressures. We want our agri-food businesses to be best in class and this project aims to help them achieve that by showcasing, sustaining and evolving our food and drink industry in a new and engaging way, delivered by people in the industry, for the industry.”

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said:

“This project is among a number of strategic investments Cornwall Council is making through the Good Growth Programme to support established and emerging industries. By investing in our agri-food sector, we not only support local businesses but also promote job creation, enhance food security, safeguard the environment, and contribute to the resilience of our region’s economy. We’re delighted to backing this important sector and hope that food and drink producers across Cornwall and Scilly will get involved.”

To find out more about the Great Cornish Food project and how to get involved, Great Cornish Food project

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Story posted 15 March 2024