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£9million pledged to food and drink hub to grow district’s ‘thriving’ industry and create new jobs

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 March 2017

FoodWorks will be situated at Junction 21 Enterprise Area, if planning permission is secured.

FoodWorks will be situated at Junction 21 Enterprise Area, if planning permission is secured.

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The ingredients for a new food and drink innovation centre in Weston-super-Mare have come together after funding was secured for the project.

North Somerset Council has been awarded £9.36million to create the FoodWorks innovation centre at the Junction 21 Enterprise Area.

It is hoped FoodWorks will become a South West centre of excellence for food manufacturers.

It will help new businesses get started and enable established producers to grow.

Chris Smith, chairman of the FoodWorks project advisory group said: “This is an exciting step forward for the food and drink industry in the South West and will not only raise awareness of this important sector, but will also help to secure future growth and investment.”

The funding has come from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, and will pay for phase one of the project, which includes four areas where people can develop products, and 12 business units.

Larger spaces for new businesses will be provided in phase two of the project.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “The new centre will boost the profile of North Somerset’s thriving food and drink industry both regionally and nationally.”

The council will now look for an operator to run the centre, who will be responsible for developing the site and supporting the businesses.

It is expected the hub could create 250 new jobs.

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