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20.02.06
Boost for hotel and guest house owners

A second round of roadshows are about to take place for a popular initiative that is boosting investment in Cornwall's tourism industry by millions of pounds.

The honey2cornwall project has received Objective One investment and offers wide ranging business advice and investment to hoteliers and guest house owners in Cornwall. Based on the successful HONEY scheme, which was focussed solely on the Newquay area, it was started in October and is already proving highly popular. The project has a limited number of membership places available which will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Ruth Vincent, honey2cornwall programme director, explained that so far only certain areas of Cornwall had been targeted with roadshows but the project was already a quarter full.

Following the October launch two more roadshows are due to take place – at the Falcon Hotel, Bude, on March 2nd and in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth, on March 14th.

One hotel that has already benefited from the advice is the 24-bedroom, three-star Mount Prospect, in Penzance. Owners Stephen and Yvonne Hill have benefited from advice about guest satisfaction, pricing and marketing. They are carrying out exterior improvements combining investment from honey2cornwall (about £27,000) with their own investment.

Mr Hill said: "We see honey2cornwall as giving us the opportunity, through the mentoring programme, to clearly focus on what we can do to develop the business and the fact that there is funding support to implement some of that development is a major bonus. We have received some good external marketing advice and we have looked at the pricing strategy with one of our mentors and part of that means looking at the physical appearance of our property. We have carried out various improvements over the seven years we have been here and feel that the interior has already got the 'wow' factor. But the exterior, including the car park lighting and signage does not reflect that so we have received approval for a grant for that. Work began in January and we hope it will be complete by the second week of March." Mr Hill has also received Objective One support via training schemes for his staff.

The Boskerris Hotel, in St Ives, is also being supported by honey2cornwall to improve the 15-bedroom, family-run property. Investments totalling just under £35,000 have been approved for major interior and exterior work and some capital purchases. Work will include bedroom upgrades, soundproofing, decking and double glazing.

The hotel has also received support from another Objective One gateway fund, Taste of the West Cornwall, and its breakfasts use delicious local produce.

For further information please contact the Objective One Communications Team on 01872 223439 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the honey2cornwall project through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

Both HONEY (which began in 2002) and honey2cornwall (which began in 2005) have received Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) investment. Honey2cornwall has a total project investment in excess of £6million, including more than £2.3 million from the Objective One ERDF. This will equate to thousands of pounds worth of professional assistance per business.

The honey2cornwall initiative is administered by Newquay for Excellence Training Limited and Restormel Borough Council.

On average, investment applications are considered (and approved) within about four weeks from receipt of application and funds are normally paid within two weeks of receipt of documentation to confirm the project completion.

honey2cornwall is based around quality and the National Assured Quality Standards (NQAS) together with five core disciplines:

Guest Service – adding value for the guest
Marketing Approach – incorporating all aspects of marketing
Pricing Strategy – costs and pricing for every element of the business
Support Systems – addressing IT, HR and legislative matters
Physical Environment – grant aided enhancements & equipment purchases

honey2cornwall has been designed to operate as an exclusive club where establishments benefit from business support through which they can then access gateway funding. On joining the club and paying a membership fee, every business is allocated their own business mentor, who will undertake an initial business analysis, designed to help to identify priorities for each establishment. Every member will also have access to a team of specialists who are all practitioners within their respective industry and range from structural engineers, architects, computer experts to marketers and interior designers.

Expert information will also be provided to honey2cornwall members via workshops. Each workshop is created around a specific brief and designed to be very different from the standard 'talk and chalk' style. The workshop environment also encourages members to network.

Every honey2cornwall member will be eligible to apply for up to £30,000, which can be used towards enhancing their businesses to help them meet their quality goals. A Gateway Fund Manager is available to guide members through their applications.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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