North West Wales

Plans for £6.4m north Wales centre for Welsh food

Bodnant Gardens
Image caption The Bodnant Estate will be at the heart of efforts to showcase Welsh produce

The best of Welsh food and drink is to be promoted through a new venture funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones has announced plans to open a new £6.4m centre of excellence to champion the industry.

The centre will create 30 new jobs and be situated at Furnace Farm on the Bodnant Estate in the Conwy Valley.

It has been made possible through £2.7m European funding.

The project will see 18th century farm buildings on the agricultural estate renovated to become environmentally sustainable, while showcasing local produce from across Wales.

Once complete, they will house a farm shop, a tea room, restaurant and a cookery school. There will also be a new National Beekeeping Centre for Wales on site.

Local contractors K & C Construction began work on the site on Saturday.

Mr Jones, who is also the 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."

Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones, added: "I am delighted that construction can now begin at what I am sure will be another valuable platform on which to showcase quality Welsh produce.

"It is crucial that we continue to strengthen links between production, processing and the consumer to provide a more sustainable future for farmers and growers."

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