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11.04.03
Objective One helps secure a farming future for a fourth generation farmer

Objective One is helping a farming family in St Blazey secure a future for their business with investment in a £207,184 project to convert old farm buildings into self-catering holiday accommodation.

The conversion of three traditional Cornish stone barns into five individual self-catering units will provide a valuable non-agricultural income for the family. This will enable the Carne's son James to follow in the footsteps of three generations of Carnes before him, who lived off an income generated by Cornhill Farm and its 53 hectares of land.

Faced with the economic downturn in agriculture, Mr and Mrs Carne found it increasingly difficult to keep the farm running as a viable business and sought ways to supplement the farm's income. The creation of an informal farm shop selling the farm's home produced winter vegetables and potatoes has helped to support the farm in recent years and will soon be expanding its range by selling other quality local produce. However the family has sought a more productive use of their farm's assets to support the long-term future of the business.

The three barns currently under conversion were no longer suited to modern farming practices and presented an opportunity for the family to diversify into farm tourism. Located half a mile from the Eden Project, with easy access to footpaths and cycle paths, the Carne's hope that their picturesque location and family-friendly facilities will soon be securing bookings.

James Carne has recently completed his studies at St Austell College and has already started to utilise his skills and training by marketing the cottages and the development of a web site. The diversification of the farm means that he can now be employed by the family business and one day will be able to take over the business as a viable concern.

Cornhill Farm is traditionally managed and the holiday cottage's guests will be offered farm tours so they can gain an understanding of how a farm is managed and appreciate the importance of using responsible and sustainable agricultural practices for the benefit of the environment, livestock and consumers.

Speaking about the importance of the farm's diversification into tourism, Kay Carne said: "Without the investment from Objective One we would not have been able to attempt this much-needed lifeline for our business. Cornhill Farm has been owned and run by the Carne family for three generations, but with the uncertain and increasingly difficult future facing us it was vital for us to make the best use of our resources. This will secure the future for the fourth and subsequent generations of Carne's at Cornhill. With the investment from Objective One we are now able to do this and are looking forward to a busy time ahead on the farm."

Objective One Programme Director Carleen Kelemen said the project was an example of how Objective One money was being used by an agricultural business to cultivate Cornwall's distinctiveness. She said: "We are committed to investing in projects like this that capitalise on the region's distinctive resources in a sustainable way. The conversion of Cornhill Farm's barns into holiday accommodation will enable the business to capitalise on their resources and use their prime location, surrounding countryside and farm environment to bring about a commercial advantage in the market place. This project will help to secure the future viability of the farm far into the future, whilst providing tourist accommodation at an increasingly popular destination."

Work has already started on converting the barns into holiday cottages, which are expected to receive their first guests by autumn.

The Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund has invested £41,437 towards the project, with match funding from DEFRA and the remaining investment coming from the private sector to make up the £207,184 package. experience in south east Cornwall.

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Editor's notes:

European Agricultural 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 areas.

• Help to keep communities thriving in rural areas.

• Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage.

For further information contact:
Anthony or Kay Carne
Cornhill Farm
01726 812984

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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