Pasty plans gather pace

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Malcolm Ball
Malcolm Ball

Plans are developing to establish the UK’s first-ever Cornish Pasty museum, in St Austell.

Cornish businessman, Malcolm Ball, says there has been “a groundswell of support” for his initiative since it was first revealed last month, including many enquiries from food and drink producers wanting to get involved.

Ball, the chief executive of WMC Retail Partners plc, the company behind the transformation of the historic Old Spitalfields Market in London, said: “The idea of us creating the UK’s first Cornish Pasty museum seems to have struck a chord with both the public and the county’s food and drink sector.”

“I’m very pleased to announce that we’re in discussion with a number of organisations that will hopefully enable us to realise our plan to create a world-class food and drink attraction that has a pasty museum at its heart.

“The term ‘museum’ is probably not quite right as it’s going to be much more than that. We want visitors not just be able to learn about the history of how and why they came about, but we want them to be able to see them being made, learn how to make them in pasty workshops and taste freshly-baked pasties from all of the producers in Cornwall.

“We will however, not just focus on pasties – we want to create a unique visitor attraction that showcases the very best in Cornish food and drink – so it’s going to be exclusively focussed on our county’s finest produce such as seafood, cheeses, bread, pastries, cakes, meats and a plethora of beers, wines and spirits that will demonstrate the high quality of items that are produced right here on our doorstep.”

Sam’s Cornwall is one local business already to have confirmed its support. Emma Sixton from Sam’s said: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Malcolm Ball and the team at WMC Retail Partners in what promises to be an exciting new attraction for food lovers.

“We’re passionate about Cornish food and drink and what’s being planned not only fits in well with our own organisation’s brand values, but it will create an exciting new environment for the public to sample the plethora of treats that the Duchy has to offer from both the land and the sea.”

While discussions are already in progress, Ball is still keen to speak to any interested food and drink producers that have something to bring to the venture.

It is hoped that the 13,000 sq ft attraction will be ready for visitors in time for the 2016 season.

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