The regional centre, the only one of its kind in the South West, is situated in the Food Enterprise Zone at the heart of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area.
It will offer 12 food-grade units for food manufacturing, enabling new businesses to start up and providing established businesses with the ideal premises to grow and innovate.
The centre will include product development facilities for businesses of all sizes to test, develop and reformulate products, plus meeting rooms, a café and conference facilities to host food-related events and workshops.
Funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority, the £11m centre will play a vital part in North Somerset Council’s drive to stimulate growth in the local economy.
The building will be officially handed over by the contractors, Willmott Dixon, to the council in March. The council has appointed Nottingham-based The Food and Drink Forum to operate the centre on its behalf.
Senior Technical and Site Manager David Nute is the first member of staff to join The Food WorksSW team and will shortly be followed by Innovation Manager Zoe Plant. Their first task is to ensure the centre is operational from April.
David has worked in the food industry for 40 years. He started in a small family bakery before joining the in-store bakery of a major retailer and becoming the youngest bakery manager in the group. He then moved from retail production into food manufacturing and progressed to the position of technical controller of the group.
In 2008 David joined Allied Bakeries as their technical services manager for Wales and the South West. He left at the end of last year to join The Food and Drink Forum team and take up his new post at The Food WorksSW.
“I am excited to be a part of this innovative concept at The Food WorksSW and pleased to see how close the building is to completion,” he said.
“My aspirations for the centre are to develop and support local businesses to play a key role in supplying a range of innovative products to achieve sustained economic growth for both the businesses and the surrounding area.
“I am passionate about all aspects of the food industry, gaining great satisfaction from products I have taken to market. There is no better feeling than seeing a product on a shelf and saying to yourself ‘I was part of that product’.“