The creation of a flagship food and drink innovation centre on the outskirts of Weston-Super-Mare has moved a significant step forwards. North Somerset Council has successfully bid for and secured £9.36m Local Growth Deal funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership to create FoodWorksSW at the heart of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area.
North Somerset Council has been working with key partners on an exciting and challenging project to develop FoodWorksSW, a Food and Drink Innovation Centre that will sit within the new Food Enterprise Zone at Junction 21 Enterprise Area, North Somerset.
- FoodWorksSW will be a dynamic food and drink innovation centre offering food-grade business units, product development facilities and a business engagement centre to help your business grow.
- FoodWorksSW will create a focal point and regional centre of excellence for food and drink businesses across the South West. It will help new businesses begin their journey and more established producers to innovate and grow.
- FoodWorksSW will be there to ensure that businesses with great ideas truly take off.
There is no other centre in the West of England that offers the combination of complete end-to-end product development and testing service to food and drink producers, specialist business support for food producers and food-grade business units. FoodWorks will enable small and medium producers to move away from their domestic or stopgap kitchens into purpose-built facilities. Larger food companies can access new technologies, form vital links with academia, address the current mismatch in skills and understand apprenticeship opportunities,
The Phase 1 development will provide
- A focal hub for the food and drink industry in the South West region that will form part of the wider Food Enterprise Zone.
- Purpose built food-grade business units to lease that are both affordable and flexible.
- Product development facilities to enable businesses of any size to scale up production, introduce new lines, produce short runs and pilot improvements.
- Practical hands-on-support to enable food businesses to grow and succeed within highly complex supply-chains.
- Learning and collaboration opportunities as well as creating business development prospects.
- A ‘one stop shop’ so that businesses can draw on support and expertise at a local, regional and national level.
Business Needs survey
A Demand and Needs survey was undertaken by BIC Innovation Consultancy in spring/summer 2015 to identify current levels of provision and facilities across the South West and establish potential linkages to other centres and assess the need and demand for food grade units, testing and piloting facilities.
The results have been used to inform the size, specification and number of units; the size, scale and nature of the product development facilities and the range of business support and training provision that could be delivered through the Centre.
Please contact the Economic Development Service if you require any further detail on this development.
Projects and Programme Manager
Tel: 01934 426 327
Principal Economic Development Officer
Tel: 01934 426 341