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26.10.04
Making it Cornish - big build commences new venture for Cornish firm

Cornish family run business Kingsley's have secured £1.3 million Objective One investment for Kingsley Village "Making It Cornish" a unique food and craft hall outlet to showcase all that is best in Cornish food, drink and craft products. In addition to the food and craft hall there will be space for craft exhibitions, demonstration workshops and a restaurant/coffee shop serving local Cornish and regional foods. The likely total project costs will be in excess of £3.25 million.

The site is at Fraddon in Mid Cornwall and is strategically placed on the A30 in a prominent position with excellent access.

The build project is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2005 but details regarding its official opening will be released early next year, after the effects of the Cornish winter on the build programme are known.

This project represents the final but most important part of the mixed commercial development at Penhale which has been promoted by the Kingsley Group over the last ten years.

Mark Simpson of Kingsley Travel Services Limited said: "We have been thinking about this project for sometime and as soon as our application was agreed we were on site to commence groundworks and lay foundations. There is a lot of work still to be done but we are confident that all building work and fitting out will be completed on time by the end of next year. We will be looking to appoint key staff and firm up contacts with local suppliers in the spring next year. We are developing a website so that we can keep everyone up to date as the big build progresses and the project gathers pace.

"A lot of work went into preparing our application and it all takes a great deal of time. We received support and encouragement from many quarters, particularly from the Cornwall Agricultural Council Development Team. GOSW and Defra helped us through the process and once we were all speaking the same language the last three months of the application process, with hindsight, doesn't seem that bad after all."


SOME FACTS AND FIGURES

The vision for the project is to create a unique outlet for Cornish food, drink and craft products. Three key elements are proposed: a food hall, a craft hall and a restaurant/coffee shop based on local Cornish and regional foods.

The food hall, amounting to 7,000 square feet of retail space will provide a focus for the marketing of Cornish food and drink products. Space will be available for retailers and producers.

The craft hall will create 23,000 square feet of space, comprising a craft gallery and a craft market, in addition to workshop areas and a food demonstration and exhibition suite. This will be run in-house by the Kingsley Group.

The restaurant/coffee shop will seat up to 172 on a self-service format. It will serve local Cornish and regional foods. This will be run in-house by the Kingsley Group, employing suitably qualified managers.

Market research carried out as part of a feasibility study identified that:

there is a high level of enthusiasm and support within the food and drink sector
there is a similarly high level of support from artists and craft producers
the proposition is unique
there is very high volume of traffic passing the site that represents a good potential market
the purchasing of local foods tends to be a leisure/pleasure activity which fits well with the craft hall concept
there is an excellent fit between the types of tourist and day leisure visitors to Cornwall and the range of activities that will be available

50% of the grant requested is from EAGGF and the remaining 50% is from DEFRA. The balance of the funding will be provided by Kingsley's.

The project offers substantial added value benefits: a 30,000 square feet venue for the promotion of Cornish food, drinks and crafts will be created. The project has commenced and the capital works will be completed for December. The project will create 86 FTE jobs in the first three years, in addition to over £4 million of additional sales within the food and craft sectors.

Our research indicates that viewed in its entirety, the Kingsley Village Food and Craft Hall is unique: it has a central Cornish location; the food hall model is based on shared risk and motivation; it will provide a large-scale, fully staffed craft outlet dramatically improving opportunities for small craft producers; the restaurant/coffee shop area involves the innovative approach of combining Cornish and regional foods within a self-service, service-station format.

The location of the site is deemed important in further promoting Cornwall and its products to passing motorists and tourists.

The Directors of the Kingsley Group will be responsible for the management, implementation and monitoring of the project utilizing established systems that are already in existence in the Group. The Kingsley Group is experienced in construction project management and a team of specialist professional advisers form the project team for the construction phase.

For the post-construction phase, a general manager, reporting to the directors, will be employed to manage the facility.

Four key market groups have been identified, all of which will be looking for and obtaining a quality local product:

leisure day-trip and tourist visitors - incorporating individuals and group parties such as coach parties
impulse business and leisure travellers
going home from work commuters
local food shoppers wanting something special and quality products

In terms of the more local day visitors and food shoppers, a local radio and press campaign will be undertaken at key times, together with featured promotions and events to create awareness and encourage people to visit. The approach will be a dual one of paid for advertising and promotions, supported by PR activity. Roadside and site signage will be upgraded and a web site created.

All promotional activity will be the responsibility of the General Manager.

The Kingsley Group is fully committed to assuring that the issues surrounding equal opportunities and social inclusion are met with the Food and Craft Halls. An equal opportunities appraisal has been carried out that identifies the key opportunities for ensuring equality and inclusion.

An environmental appraisal has been carried out as part of the business plan. This relates to all phases of the project and demonstrated how the project will contribute to environmental enhancement.

The venue will be incorporating video-conferencing facilities and the latest in wireless technology to improve its appeal as a meeting place for professionals and, hence, supporting county efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Electronic Point of Sale systems will also be advocated.

Telephone: 01726 861111
Fax: 01726 861058
Email: john@thekingsleygroup.fsbusiness.co.uk

 

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Editor's notes:

 

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Sue Wolstenholme
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991


lmroberts@cornwall.gov.uk

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