The Food WorksSW, located in the heart of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area next to the M5 motorway, is the only centre of its kind in the South West.
It was developed by North Somerset Council following feedback from food and drink producers on the type of facilities and support that wasn't available or easily accessible to them anywhere in the region. For many this limited their ability to grow their business, create jobs and help better promote the region for food and drink.
Funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, the £11m centre was built by Willmott Dixon and is operated on behalf of the council by Nottingham-based The Food and Drink Forum.
It opened in April last year, just before the first national lockdown. Despite the challenges and difficulties faced over the last 18 months as a result of the pandemic, it is now running at full capacity providing the specialist equipment and support needed for food and drink businesses of all sizes to test, develop and manufacture their products.
All 12 of its food-grade units are let with a variety of businesses and its five product development kitchens are in regular use. The centre also includes meeting rooms, a café and conference facilities to host food-related events and workshops.