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£1 million marketing milestone for Cornish food and drink

Cornish food and drink is being promoted more actively and professionally than ever before according to Objective One project Cornwall Taste of the West, which is celebrating passing the £1million milestone for projects funded by its Marketing Grants Scheme.

Two years since it started, the scheme has benefited more than 130 food and drink businesses in Cornwall, providing funding for activities such as public relations, design, exhibitions, market research and many other professional marketing services. For many it has made the difference between promoting their business on a shoestring (or not at all) and doing it properly with the support of professionals and professional services.

The grants can fund up to 50% of projects worth up to £50,000, and awards have ranged from a few hundred pounds for the production of a flyer to £25,000 for a major re-brand, product launch and promotion. While the £1m milestone is big there is still plenty left in the pot, with scope for £750,000 worth of projects to be 50% funded by the scheme in the next two years.

The Marketing Grants Scheme is part of Cornwall's Objective One programme, funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) with contributions from the private sector. It is managed by Cornwall Taste of the West.

According to Carol Trewin, manager of Cornwall Taste of the West, the scheme is helping local food businesses give their presence some much needed polish in a very competitive marketplace.

"Professional marketing services can add so much value to an enterprise," says Carol Trewin. "The quality of Cornish food is very high, and we're keen to promote it as such, but all too often this isn't reflected in its presentation and promotion. Which is why we're so proud of what this scheme has achieved. Cornish food and drink is now on the map, with increasing polish and pizzazz. We all know success breeds success, so we're looking forward to processing many more marketing grant applications before the well runs dry."

Items and services covered by the grants include:

• public relations - promotional literature

• new product development - marketing strategy development

• distribution initiatives - packaging design

• market research - feasibility studies

• exhibitions - export market plan

• direct mail campaigns - e-commerce

Capital items for specific marketing activity can also be claimed (up to £10,000).


Skinner's Brewing Co Ltd – Truro

Profile – small brewery producing award winning ales, with a fun image and Cornish themes central to its marketing activities.

Status – growing enterprise, recently relocated to new premises closer to Truro city centre.

Marketing grant – £24,950 for project valued at £49,900 – mix of PR, new literature and materials.

Steve Skinner (managing director and owner) said: "Image is everything in this business. If you don't look the part your development will ultimately be stunted. Our recent move and growth has included focusing on how we present the brand both in outlets and our immediate locality. We want to establish a real presence that will inspire lasting trust, confidence and of course customer loyalty. The marketing grant has helped us go that little bit further, pay attention to the fine tuning and get everything spot on and geared for success. More businesses should look into the scheme. It's part of taking marketing and presentation seriously, and these days no food and drink business can afford not to do that."

Take Me Home – 2 Market Square, Copperhouse, Hayle

Profile – a gourmet delicatessen and European-style coffee and sandwich shop, primarily selling food made from Cornish ingredients.

Status – recently launched enterprise, spin-off from The Foundry Bar Café which specialises in street food from around the world.

Marketing grant - £2,776 for project valued at £5,552 – support for design work, signs and merchandising.

John Dudley (owner) said: "We wanted to focus on creating a really strong brand ID, one that could be expanded and used more widely as the business grew. Without the marketing grant we wouldn't have been able to do this. At least, we could have done it on a shoestring, but the impact and benefit would have been so much less. The money's also helped us communicate the focus on Cornish food, which is an integral part of our ID and operation. The locals here in Hayle thought we were mad when we opened ... now they're regular customers."

Fistral Blu – Fistral Beach, Newquay

Profile – upmarket surfing restaurant with panoramic views over Fistral Beach (reproduced via webcam on large video screens around restaurant), serving up a contemporary menu featuring almost all Cornish ingredients.

Status – opened for business 14 August this year, part of International Surfing Centre. As well as appealing to pre and post-surfing audience, is also being marketed as a conference and business venue.

Marketing grant - £16,000 for project valued at £41,000 – support for promotional mix including PR, literature, ICT, signage and display materials.

Jane Hawkey (director) said: "Without the marketing grant our plans would have had to be scaled down considerably. The extra money has helped us make a real impact, and get the business off to a flying start. Cornwall's appeal has become much wider and more complex, which means food enterprises should be thinking more adventurously, especially while there are support funds like this that can really help businesses reach those new audiences."

Anyone wanting more information about the scheme, or advice on how to apply can contact Sue Sargent at Cornwall Taste of the West on 01579 349363.


Editor's notes:

To qualify for the Marketing Grants Scheme businesses must operate within the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One area; produce, sell or process quality food and drink, and demonstrate the benefits of grant funding for primary agricultural and horticultural producers.

The grant process includes a Fast Track route, which can return offers of up to 50% grants for projects of up to £3000 within a week. Grants for bigger projects – up to 50% of proposals worth up to £50,000 – usually take around two months to process. Businesses can also use the services of a marketing consultant approved to work on the scheme to help them develop their grant application, and claim back 80-100% of the cost.

The Marketing Grants Scheme funds up to a maximum 50% of project costs, but to be eligible the remaining 50% cannot come from another EU or public source of funding.

The Food and Drink Marketing Grants Scheme is managed by Cornwall Taste of the West. The project is part financed by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) of the European Union and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Cornwall Taste of the West is a £3 million Objective One umbrella project, funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and private matched funding. It is part of the Taste of the West regional food group. Cornwall Taste of the West's four year project includes a trade development programme and a marketing grants scheme, available to small and medium sized food businesses that produce, sell or process foods in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Veronica Newport
Tel: 01363 866927
Fax: 01363 866093
Mob: 07808 063053


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

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