Serving up a new food and drink centre

Serving up a new food and drink centre

Work on a food and drink innovation centre, The Food WorksSW, the only one of its kind in the South West, will start in Weston-super-Mare next month.

It follows North Somerset Council’s award of a £11.3m construction contract to Willmott Dixon to build The Food WorksSW at its meeting last night (Tuesday, 25 September).

The scheme, which is due to completed in early 2020, will be funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund.

Situated within the DEFRA designated Food Enterprise Zone in the heart of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area, The Food WorksSW will create around 250 new jobs.

It will provide a range of specialist facilities and technical support for food and drink manufacturers across the South West region, helping new businesses to get started and established producers to innovate and grow.

The centre will include:

  • 12 food grade business units to lease
  • four product development areas
  • exhibition, training and workshop space
  • meeting rooms and a café.

“There is clearly a demand for such a facility,” said Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for economic development. “It will be the only centre of its type in the South West and will help to enhance the undoubted strengths of the area’s food and drink sector.

“It will not only benefit some of our smaller businesses, but will also kick-start others and will play a vital role in the council’s bid to drive growth in the North Somerset economy and create local jobs.”

With work on site due to start during October, the council is in the process of appointing an operator to run the centre.

A 15-year contract is out to tender with the contract due to be awarded in March next year. This will give the operator the opportunity to sign up occupiers and take bookings for the centre in readiness for when it opens.

The operator will manage all aspects of The Food WorksSW on the council’s behalf with their expenditure and costs covered by charges and rents from users of the centre. Any profits will be put back into the centre to increase and improve the range of facilities and support for businesses.

Business enquiries about The Food WorksSW or the Junction 21 Enterprise Area should be directed to North Somerset Council’s economic development team on 01934 426 266 or email business@n-somerset.gov.uk.

 

Published: 26 September 2018