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MEP visits Dents of Hilgay

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Managers of a farm shop and cafe near Downham say they would not have been able to build their business, and double their work force, without European funding.

Around £500,000 has been spent on the expansion of the Dents of Hilgay farm shop, which has opened a new restaurant and is currently developing a food hall, which will open in the new year.

The team showed off their new facilities to Richard Howitt, who is one of East Anglia’s representatives in the European Parliament, when he visited the site last Friday.

And owner Alison Dent said the European money, which accounted for around a third of the cost of the project, had been crucial both to her business and the local traders who have benefitted from the building work.

She said: “There’s no way we could have justified what we were doing without the European funding.”

So far, 12 new jobs have been created at the shop, with the prospect of more to come when the food hall opens after Christmas.

Mr Howitt said he was delighted to see the new facilities open for business ahead of the festive season.

He added: “The jobs, plus additional part-time opportunities created, and the boost to local suppliers from increased trading is a direct consequence of grant funding from Europe for rural development.

“I’ve been fighting hard for new funds from Europe and for that funding to continue to be directed from the local level.”

 

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