TV chef Hugh joins Totnes community vision for former Dairy Crest site
A CAMPAIGN to turn a derelict industrial site into a community owned and managed eco-housing and business site is gathering more high-profile support.
Devon-based TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is the latest celebrity to lend his support to the Atmos Totnes campaign.
The chef, best known for his high profile campaigns on food issues, is the latest patron of the project.
He joins Kevin McCloud, Jonathan Dimbleby, Tim Smit and Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who are already patrons of the project which is seeking to bring the former Dairy Crest site into community ownership to develop it as 'the heart of a new economy'.
The project is currently in what it hopes will be the final stages of negotiations with Dairy Crest over the site's future, working towards an exclusivity agreement which will see the land withdrawn from sale and Atmos Totnes going for planning permission on the site.
Rob Hopkins of Atmos Totnes, and one of the Transition Town movement pioneers, said: "We hope Hugh's support and visit to the town will prove to be the final push needed for Dairy Crest to take this community seriously as the owner and developer of the site.
"Our campaign has mobilised many hundreds of people and has shown the depth of community support for the Atmos proposals. This is where the vision, passion and excitement over the site's future resides.
"There is a palpable sense that we are almost there."
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, better known for his River Cottage TV cooking show and food campaigns will be on the Atmos site in Totnes on Friday to show his support.
Dave Chapman, one of the founders of the Atmos project, said: "We are inviting people to come down and be part of it, bring their family, friends, children and neighbours, and to bring something that to them represents what they would like the future of that site to be. It could be a loaf of bread, a hoe, a low energy light bulb, whatever you like."
On becoming the project's latest patron, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "This community-driven initiative, which combines employment generation, local food, community ownership and investment and a big and timely story, will set the tone for development in the future.
"There is much talk about localism, but Atmos shows what an inspired community can do when it takes its economic future into its own hands.
"It is such an important story, both locally and nationally."
In March, writer and broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby visited the Dairy Crest site and joined 350 people for the launch of the campaign.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be visiting the site at 10am on Friday.