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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 December, 2003, 12:39 GMT
Wakefield to be caviar capital
Wakefield could soon be cashing in on caviar
The West Yorkshire city of Wakefield - until now renowned in culinary circles for its rhubarb - is set to become the caviar capital of Britain.

The unlikely move upmarket is the result of plans to transform 14 hectares of wasteland in Wakefield into a fish farm that will produce high-quality caviar.

And the scheme could be a money-spinner, with a major group of hotels and a supermarket chain already interested in taking its produce.

The project has been launched by the Able Partnership, which provides employment for disadvantaged people and those recovering from drug abuse.

New Year go-ahead

The partnership comprises local environmental agency Green Business Network, Eastern Wakefield Primary Care Trust and the social care charity Turning Point.

A planning application for the fish farm has been submitted to Wakefield Metropolitan District Council and project managers expect it to get the go-ahead in mid-January.

However, it may be five years before it starts producing caviar.

The farm will initially import Siberian sturgeon from France, which will be fed on worms bred on site.

In about five years, the fish will have grown to about four feet in length and weigh 22lb, when they will be mature enough to produce caviar.

It is definitely one of the most innovative projects we are involved in
Turning Point spokesman David Chater

Turning Point spokesman David Chater told BBC News Online: "This has the potential to be quite a lucrative business.

"I am told there has been interest from a large hotel chain and a large supermarket chain already."

He said 50 people who would otherwise find it difficult to get jobs would be given places on the scheme for 12 months.

"It is definitely one of the most innovative projects we are involved in," he said.

"It shows that people who have had drug problems in the past can make a real go of it in the workplace and contribute to something very extraordinary."

Chef creates 635 salad
01 Jul 03  |  London
Farmed sturgeon 'only hope for caviar'
02 Dec 02  |  Science/Nature

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