FoodWorks building opens in Weston
- Credit: Archant
North Somerset Council has handed over control of the new innovation centre.
The Food WorksSW will be run by The Food and Drink Forum as part of a 15-year contract.
The £11million project, opening at the Junction 21 Enterprise Zone in Weston, has long been in the making after the council won funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and is now celebrating opening the doors to food and drink manufacturers across the South West.
With concerns over the effects of the coronavirus hitting the economy, the food and drink industry, listed as essential key workers, has seen some businesses facing increasing demand.
The 12 business units and development kitchens are now available for anyone finding themselves needing more space during this time, or businesses who have had to diversify and are in need of an area to develop their products ready for delivery.
The units will provide food and drink businesses with modern, affordable food-grade premises that conform to the highest standards and meet the latest environmental health legislation.
The various sized spaces will enable start-ups or established businesses to fulfil their production requirements safe in the knowledge that maintenance costs will be minimised.
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Cllr Mark Canniford, the council’s executive member for business, economy and employment, said: “I am really excited about the future direction The Food Works will take our food and drinks industry in North Somerset.
“We all know someone who is making great products to bring to the market but they need a little professional guidance and support, and The Food Works offers this.
“I want to see North Somerset as the gateway to the food and drinks region of the South West.
“I wish all those involved the best of luck and I for one look forward to trying their products.”
Senior technical and site manager David Nute will be joined by innovation manager Zoe Plant.
A Food Works spokesman added: “We appreciate that businesses still need to maintain high food management standards, train new staff in food safety, increase production capacity or examine the need to diversify into new markets and the staff team have useful resources on site that can help.”