Multi-million-pound development to create 250 jobs in Weston

PUBLISHED: 09:51 03 June 2019

Steel signing ceremony at The Food Works SW build, by North Somerset Council and Wilmott Dixon.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Steel signing ceremony at The Food Works SW build, by North Somerset Council and Wilmott Dixon. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A multi-million-pound project which will create hundreds of jobs in Weston is on schedule, with the structure of the building complete.

Food and drink innovation centre The FoodWorksSW, which is being built at the Junction 21 Enterprise Area in Beaufighter Road, is on course to open in spring 2020 - bringing investment and employment to the town.

The £11million project is being led by North Somerset Council after the authority received funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), with hopes of creating 250 jobs.

In March the council inked a 15-year contract with The Food and Drink Forum to operate the centre on its behalf, with 12 business units available to lease to food and drink manufacturers.

The Nottinghamshire-based company runs similar centres in the Midlands, and the council believes the contractor can help fledgling food businesses succeed.

The project's latest milestone was a steel signing ceremony yesterday (Wednesday), to mark the completion of the structure of the building.

Mark Canniford, the council's executive member for business and employment, said: "Construction of The Food WorksSW is well under way and is attracting a strong level of interest from across the region.

"The size of the food and drink industry in the area shows we need to be producing more locally and the support we are giving this project means there will be the opportunity to do that.

"The enquiries we are receiving will help guide the development of the business support and technical advice programme.

"This will ensure the right level of support and access to facilities is available to enable those starting up to test out their ideas with a food technician, support businesses wishing to scale-up and those more established businesses to innovate and bring new products to market."

Professor Steve West, chairman of the LEP, added: "This is an exciting development for the region's food and drink industry and we're pleased to support it.

"There is no other centre in the region which provides the facilities and services which will be offered by Food WorksSW.

"It will give new businesses and established producers the opportunity to collaborate, innovate, identify new markets, create new jobs and grow."

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