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Objective One creates eco-friendly workshops for Cornish craftsmen

A redundant farm building near Porthtowan will soon be transformed into six high-tech eco-friendly workshops for use by traditional craftspeople and artists, due to nearly £64,000 of Objective One investment.

The £255,274 project to convert a disused potato packing building is being led by Cornish environmental building company Pioneer Cabins, which will use its sustainable and energy efficient building techniques to extend and renovate the current building, creating valuable workspace for Cornish craftsmen.

Extending out three of the existing block work walls and constructing a new fourth wall out of rammed earth dug from the site, the building promises to be a showcase for modern environmentally sustainable building techniques and materials. There are also plans for the centre to be roofed with tiles made from recycled car tyres.

The eco-friendly units are not only good news for the environment but will also bring cost-saving benefits to the building's tenants. They will not need to pay any heating, water or sewerage charges thanks to the park's rainwater recycling system, reed-bed sewage treatment and under-floor heating system, which will run on waste wood produced by Pioneer Cabins.

With local sourcing as well as sustainable materials central to the company's ethos, Pioneer Cabins works with local timber suppliers and foresters to source Larch, Cedar and Pinewoods from well-managed Cornish woodlands to construct their made-to-order log cabins.

Taking up two of the new workshops, Pioneer Cabins has already received some initial inquiries about the four remaining units. It is hoped that the units, which will be known as Mount Pleasant Ecological Park, will become a centre for creativity for traditional craftsmen and artists.

Once relocated to their new premises, Pioneer Cabins will have the necessary larger workspace to expand their workforce to thirteen people over the next four years. This will enable them to meet the increasing demand for affordable yet ecologically sustainable housing, not only in the local area but also to clients throughout the country.

Tim Stirrup, Managing Director of Pioneer Environmental Builders explained the importance of the Objective One investment: "After starting up the log cabin building side of my business three years ago, interest in our products has steadily grown to the point where larger high-quality workspace was needed to enable my business to grow.

"Objective One and DEFRA have provided the vital investment needed to get the project off the ground, not only providing our business with the room needed to grow but also creating much-needed high quality units for similar local craftsmen."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "The environmentally friendly new business units being created at Mount Pleasant Ecological Park are a great example of how Objective One is building better businesses by investing in the construction of new workspace.

"This is a truly pioneering project as its original thinking and innovative construction practices add real value to the scheme while fulfilling the specific workspace needs of businesses. We hope that the new units will provide Pioneer Cabins and four other local businesses with the tools to flourish and provide jobs and income for the area both today and into the future."

David Rodda, senior agricultural co-ordinator for the Objective One Agricultural Development Team who assisted Mr Stirrup with his application said: "This is a good example of an innovative use for a redundant farm building. It will bring employment opportunities into a rural area as well as providing the applicant with an alternative form of income."

Work on the new ecological park has started this week, with the project due for completion in spring 2004.

The £255,274 project has received £63,819 investment from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) with the additional investment coming from DEFRA and the private sector.


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 of investment 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:

Tim Stirrup
Pioneer Cabins
Daytime: 01209 891500
Evenings: 01872 571054


Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388

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