A new food hub for the East Neuk
Wednesday 26 February 2014
Balcaskie Estate has submitted plans for the creation of a food hub and series of small production units at Bowhouse Farm, St Monans. Following the model developed on other redundant steadings on the Estate, we hope that the creation of a series of units specifically for the production of local food and drink will help develop and sustain a really important industry in the East Neuk. The Bowhouse development will also include a community growing space for use by local residents to grow their own food and, potentially, trade any surplus. Alongside the production units, we hope to hold a monthly indoor farmers' market; only the second indoor farmers' market in Scotland. This would be held on a Saturday other than those used by the existing farmers' markets in St Andrews and Cupar.
Businesses attracted to The Bowhouse will most likely be secondary production businesses, many of which will gain some or all of their raw materials from farming and fishing businesses in the East Neuk of Fife. There will be a shared benefit from clustering such businesses together on a single site as this will not only build on the local expertise in primary production, but also will give the small businesses on site the opportunity for some economies of scale (in joint operations such as delivery) and scope (in the collective pool of skill at The Bowhouse.
It is hoped that by working in collaboration with the successful local shops & restaurants already in the East Neuk and Landward, some of the produce made at The Bowhouse will appear on the shelves locally, thereby further strengthening the growing demand for high quality local produce with impeccable provenance.
Balcaskie is deliberately not opening a farm shop; Ardross, Balgove Larder and others do this so well and we believe that the support for further small production businesses will help develop the thriving local food economy that we are proud to be a part of. Toby Anstruther, of Balcaskie, was one of the founders of the non-profit Fife Food Network and continues to serve as a director of that organisation.
The full planning application has not yet been listed on Fife Council’s FifeDirect website, but a link to it will be placed here when it becomes available. In the mean time, the general Fife Council planning web portal can be found here.
Balcaskie Estate would welcome comments and questions regarding this application. These can be made directly to us or submitted on Fife Council’s website. We would be happy to meet with any respondents to discuss the project.
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