New year, new jobs in district

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Jobs will be created after a farm shop announced plans to expand.

Jobs will be created after a farm shop announced plans to expand.

Farmer Copley’s said it would be recruiting up to 19 new positions when a barn is converted into a 150-seat cafe and restaurant.

By day it will operate as Cafe Moo at the farm shop at Ravensknowle Farm on Pontefract Road, Purston, and by night as Beast restaurant Thursday-Sunday.

The cafe is being relocated into the converted barn and the existing farm shop building and will be open there from April.

The new development will also have a business meeting room called the Fresh Thinking Suite, with room for 20 people as well as an upstairs function room with capacity for 100.

Robert Copley, who owns the farm shop with his wife Heather, said: “The decision to expand came about because we are literally bursting to capacity with visitors to the Moo café and farm shop, especially when we have family events such as our renowned Pumpkin Festival and Christmas celebrations.”

The expansion was made possible with loan funding from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Mr Copley said: “Heather and I are really excited by this next phase of our development and have been very pleased with the backing received from the bank.

“We can’t wait for the opening in April.”

As part of the development Farmer Copley’s shop will expand and the florist’s will move into the new barn building.

Lindsay Crooks, senior relationship manager from Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Farmer Copley’s is a very well known brand in Yorkshire and I am delighted to be working with them to support this exciting development.”

Farmer Copley’s has become one of the UK’s best known farm shops after being established in 2003.

Heather and Robert Copley run the business on 60 acres of the original farm’s land.

The business started as a small converted stable, expanding in 2006 and then in 2009 to its current size.

It now has more than 3,000 sq ft of retail space and a 106-seater cafe, known as Moo.

Farmer Copley’s is listed as one of tourist agency Welcome to Yorkshire’s favourite family venues and hosts events including an annual pumpkin festival in

October.

Building work has started on the farm shop’s latest expansion.

The new cafe and restaurant will add 19 new jobs to the current work force of 45 staff and will be open in April.