Council approves multi-million-pound Weston-super-Mare villages investment

An artist's impression of the FoodWorksSW building.

An artist's impression of the FoodWorksSW building. - Credit: Supplied

Contracts worth millions of pounds to create jobs and homes in the Weston-super-Mare villages have been approved by North Somerset Council.

The authority will spend more than £33million on progressing work to create 10,000 job opportunities and more than 6,500 homes after agreeing the investment at a meeting this week.

Willmott Dixon will be given £11.3million to carry out work to the FoodWorksSW innovation centre at Weston’s junction 21 enterprise area, and £9million to build the 420-place Parklands Educate Together Primary School.

Balfour Beatty will be given £13million to complete the north-south link road which will run through Locking Parklands and connect West Wick to the Weston villages.

The road will create access to build up to 1,800 more homes and 2,700 jobs at Parklands Village.

Around 250 new jobs are expected to be created at the FoodWorksSW site which will feature 12 food grade business units to let, four product development areas, meeting rooms and space for exhibitions, training and workshops.

The innovation centre’s facilities will help new food and drink producers to start up and allow established businesses to grow.

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Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset’s executive member for economic development, said: “There is clearly a demand for such a facility.

“It will be the only centre of its type in the South West and will help to enhance the undoubted strengths of the area’s food and drink sector.

“It will not only benefit some of our smaller businesses, but will also kick-start others and will play a vital role in the council’s bid to drive growth in the North Somerset economy and create local jobs.”

A 15-year contract is due to be awarded in March following a tendering process.

This will allow the chosen operator to sign up recruit occupiers and take bookings.

The three projects are all expected to be completed in 2020.

The contracts were agreed at Tuesday’s full council meeting.