16 November 2010
Work has started on a new £6.4 million centre of excellence in
North Wales which will promote the best of Welsh food and drink
while creating over 30 jobs.
Construction is due to begin on the project - designed by Capita
Symonds’ Colwyn Bay office - at Furnace Farm on the Bodnant Estate
in the Conwy Valley. It will involve the renovation of 18th century
farm buildings, adjacent to both the A470 and the world-famous
Bodnant Garden, to showcase local produce from across the region
The scheme is being funded with over £2.7m from the Welsh
Assembly Government through the European Regional Development Fund,
the Targeted Match Fund, as well as a Processing and Marketing
Grant under the Rural Development Plan.
The buildings, which are being restored to high levels of
environmental sustainability, will house an extensive farm shop –
featuring a wide range of produce from Wales - a tea room,
restaurant and a cookery school. The scheme also includes a
food production unit, a major element of which is designed for
cheese manufacture and storage.
Furnace Farm will also provide a home for a new National
Beekeeping Centre for Wales, which will provide an attractive venue
for beekeepers, the general public, schools and conservationists.
The centre will offer training courses for all levels of beekeeping
and a visitor centre with observation hives.
This is the start of an exciting project that will bring real benefits to the economy of the Conwy Valley and beyond
The project includes a special ‘Bat House’ and mitigation
measures which was completed ahead of he main works and has already
been successful at attracting new residents.
Ieuan Wyn Jones, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Minister for
the Economy and Transport, said: "We are determined to encourage
innovation and support the creation of dynamic enterprises to meet
the demands of a modern tourism industry, drive forward the
agri-food sector and secure more job opportunities. Our policy,
Economic Renewal: a new direction, outlines our goal to build
strong, sustainable sectors and maximise opportunities to introduce
value added products for both the Welsh and global markets.”
Michael McLaren, Director of Furnace Farm, said: "This is the
start of an exciting project that will bring real benefits to the
economy of the Conwy Valley and beyond. We look forward to working
with local people to make it a great success."