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Date Published: 24th August 2018

Major new investment at J21 of the M5 (with up to 250 jobs created)

An artist's impression of how the Food Works may look

An artist's impression of how the Food Works may look

A massive new business development at J21 of the M5 called the J21 Area Development has been welcomed by the Stables Business Park at Rooksbridge in Somerset. A short drive up the A370 or M5  at J21 a new Food Works SW facility is to be constructed eventually creating around 250 jobs. More than £11m of tax payers money from funding through a Local Enterprise Partnership has been given the green light from the West of England Joint Committee set up by the Government for the project to build the Food Works on the former airfield. The 10 acre site will over time feature a close-knit cluster of businesses, facilities and support, all in one place to encourage partnerships and mutual support for food and drink enterprises based in the region.

North Somerset Council expects work to begin on the Food Works SW site this autumn with the first phase opening in 2020. The deputy leader of the council said they were now seeking an operator to take on the project. Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader and executive member for economic development, said:  “Due to the specialist nature of the technical facilities, the centre will benefit from a commercial operator with experience and a track record of operating business centres. Under the agreement, the operator will manage all aspects of The Food Works SW on our behalf. All expenditure and costs for the operator will be covered by charges and rents from users of the centre with any profits put back into the centre to increase and improve the range of facilities and support for businesses. We are grateful to our colleagues in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and the LEP for their support and note that we are already getting a great deal of interest from potential operators.”

The new build is essentially the first phase of the development with two more phases to follow to complete the plans as part of the J21 Area Development.  Food Works said: “This cluster of support, facilities and premises will provide the food and drink industry with ideal conditions for growth and will help to support the supply chain across the South West.

“The Food Enterprise Zone will focus on food chain industries and is expected to include a mix of research and development, production and processing, packaging, logistics and a whole range of support services such as quality assurance, food engineering etc. Once established, partners will work together to establish a Food Enterprise Zone that will provide a range of business growth opportunities. This supported environment will provide the added value needed to ensure that businesses fly. Food industry specific technology and innovation support will be facilitated by The Food Works SW and linked to the areas R&D strengths. The creation of specific skills and training programmes will tap into a strong network of existing local training and skills providers.”

With so much development up and down the M5 corridor in Somerset suitable office space for support businesses, consultancies and contractors is in short supply. Quality offices are currently available at the Stables Business Park which lies just a mile from J22 in the village of Rooksbridge and 12 miles from J21 of the M5 where the latest development is planned.

For details on the Stables Business Park call us on 07968 910 761, or email us from our website at where you will find much more information, a video, testimonials and news.