Progress made in Weston-super-Mare’s FoodWorks SW project as council applies for planning consent
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 June 2017
A £9million dedicated food and drink hub for Weston-super-Mare which has been in the pipeline since 2015 may soon go ahead after a planning application was submitted.
FoodWorks SW could be created in the junction 21 enterprise area, to help grow North Somerset’s food and drink sector.
If built, it would be the only centre in the West of England region offering product development and testing services to producers.
The project is being led by North Somerset Council, which was one of six areas in the country to be chosen to have a food enterprise zone in 2015.
FoodWorks is at the centre of this, and it is expected to create up to 250 new jobs.
North Somerset Council’s documents, submitted with its planning application, say: “The aspiration for the centre is to be the premier facility of its type in the UK primarily aimed at serving the region, but also seeking to attract wider inward investment to the South West.”
The funding has come from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, and will pay for four areas for people to develop products in, and 12 business units.
It will have food labs and provide support to help businesses grow.
The documents add: “It will create a focal point and regional centre of excellence for food and drink businesses across the South West, enabling both new and more established producers to innovate and grow.”
FEATURE: Weston enjoys restaurant revolution
Larger spaces will be provided in phase two of the project.
Five of the top 12 business in North Somerset in terms of turnover are in the food and drink sector, and they have a combined turnover of more than £1billion.
The district also has a higher proportion of employees in food manufacturing compared to other councils in the West of England.
The project follows on the back of similar schemes to support new businesses, such as North Somerset Enterprise Agency, based at The Hive, which offers advice to start-ups.
A creative hub called The Stable is also opening in Weston’s town centre and will become home to creative, tech, and digital freelancers, offering meeting rooms and private offices.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.