Businesses ranging from a two-person vineyard and brewery on a remote island to an egg producer selling across the UK are being boosted by the new Great Cornish Food project.

Twenty-five food and drink producers have so far had applications approved for easy-access grants of up to £5k.

Among the recipients is St Martin’s Vineyard on St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly, owned and managed by Holly Robbins and James Faulconbridge since 2020.

The vineyard also sells bottled beer brewed by Robbins and the new investment will enable her to triple production of favourite ales such as Ganilly and Menawethan, named after two smaller islands nearby.

Robbins said the grant has been a great boost to the sustainability of their business, which supplies other outlets across St Martin’s and is currently the only brewer on the islands.

“It is enabling us to invest in a new brewing system,” she said. “That’s so good for us in so many ways because wine production is limited by the number of vines we have and by the variable weather.

“Producing beer as well as wine adds to what we have to offer our visitors and makes us far more resilient which is critical when you operate on a small island. There are just the two of us and the grant helps us operate in a much more efficient way too.”

At the other end of the scale in terms of size is St Ewe Free Range Eggs, based at Grampound Road near Truro.

St Ewe supplies three million eggs a week to a range of outlets varying from Grampound Road Village Market to major national supermarket chains – and that number is set to double by the end of this year.

The Great Cornish Food grant is enabling the family-run company to further develop the skills of the expanding team, which now numbers nearly 70.

St Ewe is using the funds to invest in new computer equipment and the latest digital learning resources, offering a greater range of training and knowledge across the operation.

CEO Rebecca Tonks said: “This grant is transforming what we can offer employees for their training and development, ranging from health and safety to general wellbeing. It will also enable us to share our detailed scientific data about egg quality more easily with the farmers we work with so they can adapt their processes, resulting in less waste, greater efficiency and improved profitability for them.”

The Great Cornish Food project is delivered by the team behind the award-winning Great Cornish Food Store in Truro and has been made possible through the Strategic Sector Development fund for Agrifood within the Good Growth programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Ruth Huxley, MD of the Great Cornish Food Store and founder of industry body Cornwall Food & Drink, said: “Our aim is to channel a significant element of the Good Growth funding directly into a range of businesses from the Isles of Scilly to the Tamar Valley.

“We have made the application process as simple as possible and have specifically offered relatively small grants so as many businesses as possible can benefit.

“We want to show how a cash injection even of this size can transform a business if it’s well thought out and it has been really interesting to see the wide range of different projects that food and drink producers are investing in via these small grants. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labours.”