Licensed premises get Objective One help
Pubs, clubs and other licensed premises across Cornwall are being offered help to make them more professional and profitable – thanks to an Objective One project supported by the region’s biggest independent brewer, St Austell Brewery.
Creating Cornish Prosperity will also encourage a “buy local, use local” theme to boost the number of food outlets using Cornish produce and suppliers.
The two-year project, worth nearly £1.15 million, has been developed following a highly successful pilot scheme in the China Clay LEADER area and is now to be extended across the whole of Cornwall.
Creating Cornish Prosperity has been approved through Objective One for a grant of over £500,000 from the European Social Fund - with match funding of nearly £167,000 coming from St Austell Brewery, which is playing a major role in the project.
The application for Objective One funding came from an idea from the brewery’s human resources director, Vicky Crossingham, and was put together by Robert Lamberton of the St Austell Brewery Training Department in conjunction with Cornwall Enterprise – the organisation set up by the county council to generate economic development.
The project also involves St Austell College, which will administer training places on the Learning and Skills Council’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme – which also has Objective One funding – and the brewery’s own training courses, accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping and run at the training centre at the White Hart Hotel.
Oliver Cranfield from Cornwall Enterprise said: “The project aims to provide a business counselling service for 300 small and medium firms - which amounts to 10% of all licensed premises in Cornwall. It will provide practical solutions to business needs, as well as flagging up training needs.
“The second part of the project is to meet those training needs. We aim to train well over 2,000 people either already working in, or hoping to work in, the licensed hospitality sector. We will provide seven different courses, leading to respected qualifications recognised by bodies such as the British Institute of Innkeeping, the Institute of Environmental Health Officers, the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and a new diploma for the licensees.”
Training will also include giving door supervisors a chance to study for their National Certificate. By helping door staff at pubs and clubs greater skills in managing customers, the project, in conjunction with Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, will help make town centres become safer places - making them more attractive to visitors and, therefore, more prosperous.
St Austell Brewery’s company trainer Robert Lamberton will be one of the specialist business counsellors involved in the project, preparation for which had included detailed research by the company’s training team into the needs of the licensed hospitality sector across Cornwall – involving pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels.
Vicky Crossingham said: “The project will provide business counselling from a team of expert advisers with extensive experience in the licensed trade who are committed to creating greater prosperity in Cornwall.
“We want to help improve the professionalism and profitability of the licensed trade in Cornwall, giving people the skills and knowledge to run successful and stable year-round businesses. That way we can improve the image of the industry, challenge poor perceptions about careers in the trade and reduce the number of business failures in the sector.”
Project co-ordinator Tania Hall said that encouraging greater use of local produce was an important element of Creating Cornish Prosperity.
She said: “The Cornish theme was incorporated into the Cornish Food and Hospitality Programme run during 2000 and already there is evidence that catering establishments in the China Clay area are beginning to use a wider range and quantity of local produce.
“In this way, the project will have knock-on benefits to a range of businesses across Cornwall. It will also contribute to local distinctiveness and give Cornwall a unique feel for visitors.”
She added that the project also aims to take positive action to raise the number of women running licensed premises.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD