The Cowshed ice cream parlour & bistro has been established by the Bowman family at Penback Farm as a diversification venture. Penback farm is a family enterprise based at Cyffig, near Whitland which presently farm a herd of suckled cows.
In the past few years they have developed the Cowpots brand of ice cream which is being produced on the holding. They currently produce over 20 different flavours and sell the product to businesses in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
Penback Farm Partnership have been awarded a grant under the Supporting Farmers to Diversify grant scheme of £74,804 towards the total project costs of £152,401 for the conversion and fit out of a redundant farm building.
The Supporting Farmers to Diversify grant scheme is funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and is supported by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The specific objectives of the grant are to maintain and increase the income of farm households in rural Carmarthenshire; to provide the necessary capital resource required to enable farming families to diversify into non agricultural activity; and to retain young people in the farming industry by helping them to develop alternative sources of income and alternative employment opportunities.
To date approximately £568,000 has been granted to 26 projects through the Rural Conversion grant and Capital Equipment grant of the Supporting Farmers to Diversify scheme.
Chair Cllr Daff Davies said: “The Cowshed ice cream parlour & bistro is a wonderful facility for the area and will add a new dimension to the family’s artisan ice cream manufacturing business and will provide a great platform to showcase the successful Cowpots brand.
“The quality of craftsmanship in this building conversion is impressive and it is good to see this old building being given a new lease of life. I’d like to congratulate everybody involved with the project and on behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council may I wish the Bowman Family every success with this new venture.”
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “I’m delighted that the council has been able to support the family’s investment in further developing their business.
“The Supporting Farmers to Diversify grant scheme plays an important role in enabling farmers to develop new businesses as another string to their bow.”
Executive board member for rural affairs Cllr Jim Jones said: “It is important for the rural economy that farmers are supported to diversify into new businesses, helping to provide their living and providing employment in rural areas.”