A Cornish pasty maker is hoping to see his vision for a new centre to support food and drink producers finally realised five years after it was first conceived. 

Now a new organisation set up to support the project in Cornwall has been given a £63,000 grant towards taking the next step.

The grant will enable Cornwall Gateway CIC to carry out a feasibility study on developing an agri-food and drink centre in Bodmin.

The cetnre would help numerous Cornish food and drink producers to scale up and improve their productivity by providing processing and packaging facilities, storage and distribution support, as well as a research and development lab.

Joy Bassett, co-director of Cornwall Gateway, said: “I am very pleased that we are now able to undertake the industry research that I believe will confirm that there is an urgent need for local processing and packaging facilities.

“Being able to increase productivity locally will help Cornish producers reduce food miles as well as costs.”

The centre will also provide other shared services for the sector, such as storage and distribution.

The plans also include an innovation business support centre, and research and development lab.

There will be collaboration with local colleges and universities to provide skills and training opportunities.

The project was conceived by Phil Ugalde, the founder of Bodmin pasty company Proper Cornish, which this week won in the best 'Pasty' category at the British Pie Awards with its chicken bhaji pasty.

Phil's aim is to help businesses achieve in five years what he accomplished in 30.

His vision was initially proposed and received approval in 2018, but funding for the project was subsequently redirected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


This grant has now been awarded through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cornwall Councillors for the Bodmin area, Leigh Frost and Pat Rogerson are backing the renewed project, while Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall, said: "The agri-food and drink centre in Bodmin is a promising development that will not only promote economic growth but also provide a vital platform for innovation within our local food and drink sector.

“It's a positive step forward for our region which is already a major employer in North Cornwall.”

Also supporting the project is Martin Tucker, principal of Truro and Penwith College, who said: “This centre will provide valuable opportunities for students and professionals to engage with the food and drink sector, ensuring that Cornwall remains at the forefront of the industry."

Cornwall Gateway CIC also plans to showcase the Cornish food and drink industry, including locally and nationally at trade events.

The organisation is actively seeking sponsorship opportunities to further enhance the impact of this project and bring even greater benefits to the region.