Redruth firm Tulip has plans to develop a 'centre of excellence' thanks to a £147,000 grant, which will also secure jobs and promote new career and training opportunities at the company.

The investment s from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Business Catalyst Fund, which exists to help eligible businesses improve productivity and create or safeguard jobs, and is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Tulip employs almost 2,000 people at its operations in Bodmin, Bugle and Redruth and is a leading supplier to major supermarkets of quality pork, bacon and cooked meat products. The LEP’s investment is part of a £490,000 project to develop the business, with the balance of funding coming from the company.

Tulip’s Cornwall Operations Director Ray Hanly said: “Our ambition to create a centre of excellence for gammon and bacon production in Cornwall is being realised sooner by this grant support.

“Keeping and expanding our excellent in-house butchery skills at Bugle, delivering a butchery apprenticeship programme in partnership with Duchy College and Brian Etherington Meat Company, and increasing productivity at Redruth to develop our sliced gammon range will help us maintain our competitive edge in challenging market conditions.

“The grant funding provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the direction we took to strengthen our market position and job security in Cornwall moving forward. We are also creating new career and training opportunities for our employees because we want to keep good people and give them and the local community a real sense of having a future with us.”

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP board member Andrew Williams said: “Tulip is a major local employer and this Business Catalyst Fund boost will accelerate its plans to increase productivity and invest in workforce skills development and new apprentices. The agri-food sector remains a key part of our economy and the LEP is committed to helping our bedrock industries innovate and prosper.”

The £5 million Business Catalyst Fund is managed by Cornwall Development Company on behalf of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and Cornwall Council