The handover of the new £4.6m Cornwall Food Production Unit took place today. The full commissioning, training of staff and commencement of operations will take place over the next couple of months.
The development of the new food production unit is an exciting and unique opportunity for Cornwall and will transform the way that meals are provided to hospitals across the County. The new facility will also provide economic and environmental benefits to Cornwall as ingredients and produce will be locally grown and sourced and meals will be prepared and cooked locally, considerably reducing food miles.
It is the next step in developing the innovative and successful Cornwall Food Programme, which has been supported by investment from Objective One, Defra and the Soil Association, to maximise the use of local produce in hospital meals. This scheme has been nationally recognised as an example to others.
The new food production unit was awarded almost £2m of grant funding last year under the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Objective 1 programme receiving part financing from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund of the European Union (EAGGF) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The development of the food production unit is being led by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, as a partnership project for the NHS across Cornwall and is being developed as part of the NHS LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) initiative in Cornwall by the county’s LIFTco, Community 1st Cornwall Limited. This is the first LIFT project to be signed between Community 1st Cornwall and the Acute Trust and demonstrates the breadth of regeneration activities LIFT can participate in and successfully deliver to improve the county’s health and social care and support services infrastructure.