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23.03.04
HRH The Duke of Kent visits award winning Lynher Dairy

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent will be visiting Lynher Dairy in Ponsanooth today (Tuesday 23 March) to find out about how the expansion of the business into new purpose built premises two years ago has enabled the company to go from strength to strength.

Built with the support of £155,000 investment from Objective One, the new production facilities for Lynher Dairies Cheese Company at Pengreep Farm, Ponsanooth, near Truro, opened in February 2002.

During his visit The Duke will learn from Catherine Mead, a director of Lynher Dairy, how the business has developed over the past 20 years and how the new facility has enabled the cheese company to produce an additional 200 tonnes of cheese per year.

Ms Mead said: "We are delighted to be hosting a royal visit at the Dairy and it will be a memorable day for everyone here. The Duke's visit coincides almost exactly with the two-year anniversary of our first cheeses leaving our new facility. Back then we were looking to produce around 120 tonnes in our first year and now we are looking at a figure close to 220 tonnes across the two sites which is quite an achievement for us to celebrate."

Objective One Programme Director, Ms Carleen Kelemen will also be meeting The Duke to inform him of the role played by Objective One in making the construction of the new cheese making facility possible and also about the wider work of the Programme within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Ms Kelemen said: "Cornwall is built on small businesses, so the Programme is working on those conditions that can maximise performance. Part of the strategy is to halt decline in traditional industries by maximising their impact through adding value as well as local sourcing, collaboration, additional processing, marketing and supply chain development.

"Lynher Dairy is a great example of how the strategy is being bought to fruition. It was one of the earliest Objective One projects to be approved and goes to show that, as well as producing some of the finest cheese in the world, Cornwall can also compete with anyone else when we invest in innovative thinking, modern design and the tools to enable businesses to develop and thrive."

Mr Dane Hopkins, Head of Production, will explain the individual processes that go into the cheese making process whilst The Duke takes a tour through the production room. Whilst in the maturing stores His Royal Highness will see some of the other soft cheeses made at the dairy in addition to its famous nettle covered Cornish Yarg.

Towards the end of his tour The Duke will have the opportunity to talk to staff working in the packing room before he signs the visitor book and is presented with a gift of cheese by Emma Johnson, Marketing Manager at Lynher Dairy.

The visit today by The Duke of Kent will be the latest honour bestowed on the dairy in long line of recent recognitions for the dairy's achievements. Since its opening, the dairy has won a multitude of awards at national cheese industry and agricultural shows. The building itself has received acclaim for its empathy for the environment and innovative design, winning a prestigious RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) regional award, the Civic Trust Award for the UK's best agricultural building and the Country Landowners Association (CLA) award for the best building in the south. The Independent newspaper also named the dairy as one of the 50 best modern buildings to visit in the world in a recent feature.

Lynher Dairies Cheese Company continues to grow at 20 per cent a year and currently employs 50 people on a part-time and full-time basis across two production units.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Jason Clark
Communications Adviser
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
objectiveone@cornwall.gov.uk

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