JIJONA is to become the home of a pioneering artisan ice cream research centre.

The small Alicante Province town boasts the biggest number of artisan ice cream makers of any Spanish municipality.

Jijona is also famous for producing turron(nougat) prompting mayor Isabel Lopez to proclaim that ‘we will be the sweetest place in the world’.

The local council has agreed to a free transfer of 2,000 square metres of land to the National Association of Artisan Ice Cream Makers(ANHCEA).

The plot is on the El Espartal III industrial estate and the ANHCEA will move their headquarters there as well as setting up the ice cream research centre.

Construction will start next year and it has been branded as a pioneering facility in Europe.

It will train artisan ice cream makers and develop the product in a special laboratory.

Meeting rooms and a warehouse as well as the ANHCEA HQ offices will be part of the new building.

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