NEW FOOD AND DRINK INNOVATION CENTRE TO SUPPORT WEST BUSINESS GROWTH

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The creation of a flagship food and drink innovation centre on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare has moved a significant step forwards.

North Somerset Council has successfully bid for and secured £9.36m funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership to create FoodWorksSW at the heart of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area.

FoodWorksSW will provide a regional centre of excellence for food and drink manufacturers to help new businesses get started and established producers to innovate and grow.

Chris Smith, managing director of Marshfield Bakery and chair of the FoodWorksSW project advisory group, said: “I am absolutely delighted by the news that North Somerset Council has successfully secured funding for FoodWorksSW which will provide vital facilities, training and support for SME businesses such as ours.

“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 new centre will boost the profile of North Somerset’s thriving food and drink industry both regionally and nationally,” said the council’s leader Cllr Nigel Ashton. “It will also raise awareness of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area as a key business location.

“2017 is going to be a big year for the Enterprise Area. Already home to a diverse range of companies, around 1,500 jobs have been created there in the last two years and we are confident that a number of high-profile investment enquiries will come to fruition this year.”

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