Prince Charles to back Shop Local push

PRINCE Charles will stamp a Royal seal of approval on the campaign to promote small shops when he meets some of Suffolk's successful producers.

Richard Smith

PRINCE Charles will stamp a Royal seal of approval on the campaign to promote small shops when he meets some of Suffolk's successful producers.

The Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall will be making their first visit to east Suffolk as a couple when they arrive on July 31 to visit Southwold, Blythburgh, and Snape.

Their packed agenda includes a trip to the Snape Maltings site which is undergoing a huge transformation with the conversion of old maltings into flats and a £14million music development.

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But there the main emphasis will be on meeting the people behind the products that are putting Suffolk on the food map.

The Royal couple will throw their weight behind the Shop Local campaign, which is being spearheaded by the EADT, and give advice to the small producers in the face of ever increasing competition from supermarkets.

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Snape Maltings is owned by the Gooderham family and Johnny Gooderham said: ''It is an immense honour for all associated with Snape Maltings to welcome The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

“It is a unique opportunity to share the Maltings development and demonstrate how our collection of Grade II-listed buildings can be sustainable in the future with work, residential and recreational space all working together in harmony.

“It is a great privilege to be able to discuss this project with The Prince of Wales, who has significant experience and valuable insight into projects of this nature.”

Mr Gooderham added: “During their visit their Royal Highnesses will have the opportunity to visit our farmers' market and meet the local producers who work tirelessly in ensuring the highest quality of food and drink is produced in our region. It will be a very special day for the Suffolk coast.”

Caroline Cranbrook, president of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, said: “The Prince of Wales is a true advocate for the countryside.

“Farmers and food producers throughout Britain, from Caithness to Cornwall, owe him a huge debt for the practical help and advice he has given to them.

“He has done much to raise awareness of the importance of local food and, as a farmer and food producer himself, has led by example.

“We are thrilled that he and the Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Snape Farmers' Market. They will see - and I hope taste - some of the products that represent Suffolk's amazing range of wonderful local food and drink which make Suffolk a food destination. We will be proud and honoured to welcome them.”

Lady Cranbrook added: “I am also delighted that they will be visiting the Post Office Stores at the Blythburgh White Hart inn.

“Small shops are the heart of the local community and their importance cannot be over-estimated. The royal visit provides a timely and thoughtful focus on this imaginative enterprise.''

The Royal visit includes a trip to Adnams Brewery and Serena's Gallery in Southwold. Prince Charles has an initiative called Pub is the Hub and he is keen to hear how a village shop, located in a former barn, is surviving in the car park at the White Hart, Blythburgh. Their Royal Highnesses will also meet the Samaritans of Lowestoft district at the pub.

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