STARS of the food-producing scene are being sought to help kick-start a unique new venture in the heart of the city.
Tasty food grown or made in the immediate area is going to be the focus of a store which will open in South Street.
Backed by Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council and thought to be the first scheme of its kind in the UK, the shop’s aim is to support local businesses and showcase the high quality of food that is produced locally.
“Our area has some of the best local produce in the country and we should be celebrating and promoting this,” says Cllr Myles Cullen, the district council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for the economy, property and tourism.
“We asked local producers how they would like us to support them and their answer was to have a presence on the High Street. By working with West Sussex County Council on this project we hope to boost the local economy and help small local businesses to grow.”
Chichester District Council is now looking for an individual or company to lease 29a South Street to sell local produce from the district and surrounding areas. Applicants will be expected to prove they have good retail experience, financial strength and a good business plan to make sure the shop meets the project’s aims.
To help kick-start the new business, the county council is investing £70,000 of funding to fit out the shop. An additional £5,000 is also available to provide assistance to local producers, who require help in supplying the shop.
The project was inspired by many of the ideas highlighted in From Field to Fork, a recent study from The Campaign to Protect Rural England which showed three times the number of jobs are supported when people buy from smaller independent local food outlets.
And food producers have welcomed the new venue to sell their wares. “To have a dedicated high street presence singing the praises of our county’s produce is invaluable to small producers like myself. We’re proud and delighted to be a part of such an initiative and urge our community to support us!” said Jason Burt, managing director of Farmhouse Cookery Ltd in Bosham.
It is hoped the new shop will open by the end of the year. For more information and a downloadable pack, vist www.chichester.gov.uk/localproduceshop or call 01243 534669.