Objective One to help consumers
connect with countryside
Three brothers farming 800 acres around the famous Lost Gardens
of Heligan will soon be selling their high quality beef and
lamb to a potential captive market of 463,000 visitors a year,
thanks to a £100,000 investment from Objective One.
This project will invest in excess of £300,000 over
the next three years to create a countryside interpretation
centre and farm shop within Heligan's car park, which without
investment from Objective One, would not have been possible.
The project will inform visitors about the important role
farming plays in safeguarding Cornwall's rural environment
while creating new jobs and new markets for local produce.
Terry, Ian and Richard Lobb, who between them manage Kestle
Farm near St Austell, aim to reconnect consumers with the
countryside by using displays in the purpose-built centre
to show visitors the benefits of managing the farm in an environmentally
sustainable and welfare conscious way.
After finding out about Kestle Farm and how its farm animals
and wildlife are managed, visitors will be able to purchase
top quality beef and lamb reared on the farm from the adjacent
farm shop, which will also sell a wide range of locally sourced
The project will create at least 10 new jobs and generate
a projected £672,000 in additional sales within the
next three years. The centre hopes to open its doors to the
public in June, with building work on the Cornish barn style
building now well underway.
The Objective One investment will also enable visitors to
get even closer to the animals on farm tours conducted on
a specially constructed trailer, which will be pulled by a
four-wheel drive tractor.
Explaining the reason behind the project, Ian Lobb said: "Over recent years visitors to the Lost Gardens of Heligan
have shown an increasing interest in the animals grazing the
surrounding fields and we have worked closely with The Lost
Gardens to produce information boards so that the public can
find out more about how we care for our animals.
"The creation of a purpose built farm interpretation
centre and farm shop seemed like the obvious next step in
informing the public about the need for responsible and sustainable
farming methods that we endeavour to practice, while creating
an outlet from which we and other producers can sell our produce,
giving a much-needed boost to local agriculture.
"The funding from Objective One was vital towards the
creation of this project and is enabling us to build a high
quality building that is complementary to the surrounding
countryside and gardens in which to sell and promote our high
Objective One programme director Carleen Kelemen said the
project was an example of how Objective One money was being
used to cultivate Cornwall's distinctiveness: "We
are committed to investing in projects like this that capitalise
on the region's distinctive resources in a sustainable way.
The creation of a farm interpretation centre is an innovative
approach to educating consumers about farming practices and
countryside issues, while the new shop stimulates demand for
products grown and produced locally. This in turn generates
new jobs and more income for the local agricultural sector,
which is what Objective One is all about."
Peter Stafford, Managing Director of The Lost Gardens of
Heligan said: "Here at Heligan we are exploring the complex
relationships between where our food comes from, how it was
produced and how it got to the plate.
"The three Lobb brothers have been working with us for
a number of years as managers of the farming part of our project.
We have now joined forces to run a farm shop and interpretation
centre which will enable visitors and residents to buy local
produce and to have the story of the land and the food it
produces brought to them in an interesting and stimulating
"A visit to Heligan will offer an opportunity to explore
a unique insight into the history of our food and how we produce
our food today. We are all accountable for our food chain
if by nothing other than by choice alone. Visitors will be
able to emotionally and physically experience the concepts
of food production as they watch it grow in the gardens and
wildlife abundant farmland, sample it in the Restaurant before
buying it from the shop to take home."
The £398,473 project has been part funded with £99,618
from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and
Guarantee Fund, (EAGGF) which has been equally match funded
by DEFRA with the remaining money coming from the private
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up
the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of
Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support
the local economy between 2000 and 2006.
EAGGF aims to:
Help preserve the link between diversified
farming and the land.
Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture
as a key activity in rural areas.
Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural
Help to keep thriving communities in rural areas.
Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape
and the rural heritage.
For further information contact:
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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