Food and Drink
Food and Drink manufacturing is a key strength for North Somerset and the wider WoE LEP area, with large world-class producers and smaller enterprises, many growth-ready. The district is home to Yeo Valley, Thatchers, Lye Cross Farm, Pullins, Lovely Drinks, Aldwick Vineyard and Butcombe Brewery. Food & Drink manufacturing has been identified as a growth sector for the North Somerset. The area is seen to have a competitive advantage with its high proportion of food and drink businesses, agricultural base, its excellent accessibility to motorways, airport and port and close proximity to a strong and growing customer base in Bath and Bristol.
To build on the clear growth potential within the region North Somerset Council bid for and secured £11.3m from the West of England Local partnership in 2018 to build The FoodWorksSW food and drink innovation centre on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare to help food and drink businesses across the South West region respond to the challenges facing the industry . The centre, which will open in spring 2020, will be perfectly positioned to be able to support the industry by the provision of food-grade premises, product development facilities, specialist business and technical support. the centre will act as a focal point for the region and bring businesses together to help them collaborate and grow. The current lack of specialist provision is currently holding food and drink businesses back from being able to access the necessary know how to increase productivity through technology and innovation.
This focus on food and drink is further supported by the creation of a Defra designated Food Enterprise Zone ( FEZ) which will help to establish a food and drink supply chain cluster, 5 minutes from the M5 motorway, linking the producer to the distributor. The Food WorksSW will sit within Zone 1 of the FEZ and will, over time, provide the focal point for larger grow-on space in Zone 2 and design and build options for Zone 3.View Case Studies