We started this project in August 2009 with a village consultation to find out what the people of Tideswell wanted from the Village SOS grant, should we be lucky enough to get it. 2 years, £400k, and a huge effort later, we have a successful project and a busy cookery school.
We set up Taste Tideswell right from the start to reflect what the Village SOS project set out to achieve- showing how enterprise can benefit a community. Not because Tideswell is in desperate need, but because we can see a tipping point coming where our local shops could become uneconomic and we wanted to prevent that whilst providing a set of educational and leisure resources founded on the food chain.
Everyone involved in Taste Tideswell can take a great deal of pride in what has been achieved so far. Thanks to the selfless commitment of village volunteers and the hard work of local staff, the Lottery grant has been wisely spent and has resulted in a fantastic set of benefits for the village as a whole. The BBC filmed the journey and you can see the programme here.
Taste Tideswell runs a business that supports the village – Tideswell School of Food. That business employs nine people directly and spends money on its supplies as locally as possible. The business delivers cookery and growing classes to children and it supports the Nursery Garden that is there for all to tend and learn from. It runs the “Tideswell Made” scheme to help local retailers identify and sell more of their local products, and to develop their businesses so they thrive and prosper. Within the Tideswell School of Food there is a commercial kitchen for budding producers to rent, and a nano-brewery for courses and rental. There are meeting rooms and facilities to entertain and be entertained in, and to attract groups and corporate visitors to the village to spend their money in our pubs, B&Bs and food outlets. Taste Tideswell shines a light on the village and through the TV and the other publicity surrounding the project it will put Tideswell on the map, and show why the place inspires such pride and deserves to thrive.
Read on below for what we set out to achieve a year ago. We’ve made a good start.
Our Vision is to create: “A thriving prosperous community sustained by its own food economy.”
Our Mission is to: “To treble the size of the local food economy and be famous for it.”
What are we going to do?
We are going to treble our local food economy by developing our artisan food industry and improving everyone’s expertise in growing, making, cooking, and selling good food. We’re going to make Tideswell famous, with a reputation and capability in food summed up in a nationally known and trusted brand, Taste Tideswell.
Benefits to Tideswell
- Provide greater opportunities for employment, income and wealth.
- Reverse the decline in local retail business.
- Promote social cohesion and pride in place.
- Improve the availability of local produce.
- Improve our understanding of the provenance of food and improve our culinary and horticultural skills within the community.
- Increased share of the tourism market.
- Establish assets that will sustain a food industry
Benefits to others:
Establish a replicable means of revitalising a village and an economy that will inspire other communities. We will develop a “toolkit” that helps others to copy us.
What we will establish in year one:
GROW IT – Community activities to encourage people to “give growing a go!”, creation of a ‘resource library’ to allow people to rent equipment required for growing, provide expertise, create a community kitchen garden at the back of The Institute
COOK IT – establish a cookery school in part of the Markovitz’s Courtyard for visitors and community alike; establish an “incubation kitchen” that can be used by budding producers and existing producers to try out new products and expand capacity
SELL IT – Taste Tideswell brand with licensing scheme for retailers and caterers, brand communication and marketing, Catering endorsement/quality mark, online shop.
MAKE IT – product development, encourage new producers to establish food enterprises, Tideswell Tipple nano-brewery
SHARE IT – create a toolkit to help other communities copy us in stimulating their local economy (not necessarily through food).