Work For Us at The Food WorksSW
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Food and Drink Forum Limited for the creation of a new team of experienced food industry staff to manage the opening and operations of a purpose-built development, The Food WorksSW, which will offer unique facilities to food and drink manufacturers at Weston-Super-Mare in the South West of England.
The Food WorksSW has been commissioned by North Somerset Council in partnership with the West of England LEP and will be managed by the Forum and formally opened in March 2020. It will provide food-grade business units, commercial product development kitchens, and an engagement and business centre, including meeting and conference facilities as well as a café. Specialist food industry support will be provided from the team at The Food WorksSW that will enable food and drink businesses to grow and develop.
Recruitment Schedule and Timings of Available Posts
|Roles||Advertisement Period||Application Deadline||Interview Schedule||Approx. Appointment Date|
|Senior Technical and Site Manager||8th July to 18th August||Applications Open
|1st Interview to be held in Weston-Super-Mare w/c 19th August
2nd Interviews to be held in Leicester w/c 26th August
|1st December 2019|
|NPD / Innovation Manager||1st August to 8th September||Applications To Open 1st August
|1st Interview to be held in Weston-Super-Mare w/c 9th September
2nd Interviews to be held in Leicester w/c 23rd September
|1st February 2020|
|Centre Coordinator||1st October to 30th November||Application process not open as yet
|1st Interview to be held in Weston-Super-Mare w/c 2nd December||1st April 2020|
|Centre Administrator / Apprentice||TBC||Application process not open as yet||TBC||TBC|
*The Food and Drink Forum Limited reserve the right to change any of the above dates or details without any notice or notification and prior to any appointment being made.
The New Food WorksSW Team
Working alongside the existing Forum team, North Somerset Council and other key regional stakeholders, the newly appointed post holders will be responsible for the day-to-day running of The Food WorksSW facility to ensure it becomes a centre of excellence for the food and drink industry in terms of food-grade incubation space and innovation in the South West whilst meeting targeted performance outcomes and commercial income generation to ensure its long term sustainability.
The Forum is looking for a highly driven team of organised individuals with qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience in fields such as;
- Food industry knowledge and experience
- Food technical and NPD
- Food safety management
- Facilities management
- Strategic and commercial development
- Financial management
- Health and safety management
- Contract management and monitoring
- Documentation, administration and audit management
- Food and drink manufacturing technical experience
- Partnerships and networking
- Community participation
- Marketing, presentations/training and events management
For more detailed information on the above roles please refer to the individual Job Descriptions and Person Specifications as they become available and open for application.
How to Apply for a Role
Please read all of the information below that will provide you with information about The Food WorksSW, The Food and Drink Forum and the roles and opportunities available in order that you fully appreciate and understand the opportunities and challenges presented within each of the role/s you may wish to apply for.
All roles will require the following, by the stated application deadline;
- A Covering Letter demonstrating;
- Your interest in the role
- How your qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience meet the role and person specification
- How you would achieve the vision of The Food WorksSW and requirements of the role
- What added value you would bring to the role
2. At least 2 references (one must be from your current employer). Please state whether referees can be contacted during interview stages.
3. A Completed Application Form
4. A Current CV
Application forms, Job Descriptions and Person Specifications can be found below or please email email@example.com for forms if you are experiencing problems.
All completed applications should be emailed to; firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the Role Title of the post applied for in the ‘subject’ box, e.g. Louise Spring Application for role The Food WorksSW Administrator. Due to the high numbers of applications expected for each role, we will only contact those individuals who are selected for interview.
WORKING FOR THE FOOD & DRINK FORUM
The Food & Drink Forum was established in 1998 by food manufacturing business leaders to create a dedicated industry support body for the food manufacturing industry. The Forum is a not-for-profit, membership organisation, driving growth within the food and drink sector and has over 21 years, provided specialist Food and Drink industry support to businesses whilst directing investment of nearly £40m of funds into the sector.
The Forum plays a key role in bringing together individual businesses, the industry, academia and the public sector to identify and develop funded projects that deliver relevant support to the needs of the sector. Furthermore, it supplies sector strategies, statistics and consultancy services to support local councils, LEPs and Government Departments to direct action plans and support activities to the industry. In some cases, the results have led the Forum to develop and deliver priority sector support from two successful food parks in the East Midlands: Southglade Food Park (Nottingham) and Leicester Food Park.
- Southglade Food Park (SG) was opened in 2005, comprising of 10 units and a development kitchen, Business Hub, reception, office and meeting rooms (26,100 sq ft). A second phase was built (28,500 sq ft) offering an additional 12 units, bringing the site total to 54,600 sq ft and 22 units. The Forum maintains an onsite presence and manages park services whilst tenancies are managed by Nottingham City Council.
- Leicester Food Park (LFP) was opened in 2014 having a 1.5 acre site, comprising of 19,250 sq ft and 9 units with a Management Hub, reception, office and a meeting room. It is managed by The Forum with the East Midlands Chamber as Landlord.
The Forum has gained over 14 years of direct hands on experience of food grade premises and facilities management, overseeing 73,850 sq ft or 31 units ranging from 1,000 to 5000 sq ft of production facilities, Business Hubs, receptions, offices, a development kitchen and meeting facilities across these two industry focused facilities. The Forum fully appreciates and understands the facilities management responsibilities of operating food parks, not only from a financial perspective but also from a regulatory and food management standards perspective. The Forum is now working with North Somerset Council assisting the building of The Food WorksSW which will be opened in March 2020. Following completion of the building works there will be a formal handover of the site to the Forum together with an open day and formal launch of the facilities.
As a company, the Forum is committed to the wellbeing and development of its team members, with all employees receiving a host of benefits including pension contribution, health insurance and wellbeing benefits, death in service benefits, up to 25 days holiday with additional discretionary annual leave days, possibility of two weeks leave at the Christmas break as well as access to ample training opportunities. Now is the perfect time to join our growing team in this exciting new endeavour at The Food WorksSW.
Our Staff Charter and Policy
Our Staff Charter and Policy is one of knowledge transfer and support. The Forum is a small business employing 14 individuals, some of whom work from home, on different sites, or in the field with businesses or partner organisations. Consequently, it is important to create a culture of knowledge sharing, best practice and support to ensure work commitments are always maintained. Our Policy encompasses:
- All operations and activities have their own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
- All employees are familiar with every procedure within their own role and that of the office administration
- All employees use, maintain and update progress on SMARTSHEETS for all activity detailing task, partners, responsibility, schedules, milestones, deadlines and targets
- A minimum of 2 employees are trained to cover other staff duties
- All employees are trained in the following; H&S, Risk Assessment, Fire and Evacuation, Equality & Diversity, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Environmental Sustainability and Sales for non-sales people
- A minimum of 2 employees have First Aid and Fire Marshall training on each site
- All employees to consider training for personal and professional development within their role
- All employees to undergo annual appraisals
- All employees behave professionally and with respect to each other, our clients and those in the wider community
- All employees promote a safe working environment
Partnerships are critical in delivering our vision, in supporting client businesses and for creating interest in a growing and increasingly important sector. Partnership working with The Forum creates ideas for joint and collaborative approaches to deliver credible outcomes that make a difference to the food and drink industry and the local economy.
ABOUT THE FOOD WORKSSW
Background to The Food WorksSW
The creation of a regional food and drink innovation centre (The Food WorksSW) will catalyse the development of a high value food and drink manufacturing cluster at the heart of Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21 EA). The project will act as a stimulus for innovation and change, and create a strong focal point in the development of J21 EA. It will provide food and drink businesses with the knowledge and tools required to reach their productive potential, through increased enterprise, innovation and investment. For ongoing updates please refer to www.foodworks-sw.co.uk.
The Food WorksSW will sit within the newly designated Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) within J21 EA, in close proximity to The Hive Managed Workspace. The FEZ is an integral part of the drive to support the food and drink sector in North Somerset and the wider region and will play a pivotal role in encouraging a wider cluster of food and drink related businesses at this gateway site. Together these opportunities will support sector growth, collaboration and encourage further inward investment.
The Food WorksSW will comprise of two phases that will cover a 10 acre site, Phase One, 2369 sq m (approx.) will comprise of three key elements in 2 main buildings– a business engagement hub and product development facilities plus ten food-grade business units. It is anticipated that a Phase Two will be developed that will offer grow-on space for tenants from Phase One and will attract larger more established businesses to locate to the FEZ.
The Food WorksSW will help to address the markets failure to provide food-grade units and the necessary specialist support to help the industry deal with some of the key challenges facing the food and drink sector. These challenges include such issues as; legislative changes, labelling, packaging requirements, increased demand for healthy foods and drinks, advances in innovation and technology, rising energy costs, waste minimisation, skills shortages and the drive to increase exporting levels.
The Food WorksSW responds to research undertaken within the South West region that has clearly demonstrated the lack of access to specialist technical expertise, testing and piloting facilities and food grade premises, all key factors holding business back in terms of innovation and growth. The Food WorksSW will embed a knowledge driven approach to the production, manufacturing and distribution of quality food and drink products for manufacturers across the South West and will be developed as a Centre of Excellence.
The provision of specialist sector specific business and technical support by The Food WorksSW is therefore seen as critical to the success of the Centre and the wider FEZ. This support should be accessible, via a host of differing delivery methods on and off-site, to food and drink businesses across the region and is seen as a catalyst in driving forward technical innovation and business growth, which is a key element of the business case submitted to the LEP. The Food Workssw will also need to play a pivotal role in promoting collaboration, networking and sharing of resources between food and drink businesses. This will develop connectivity within the FEZ and the wider region through the hosting of business growth seminars and workshops and establishing links with the region’s research and knowledge centres.
The one to one business and technical support provided to incubator unit tenants and to those clients using the on-site facilities will be critical in helping these growth-ready SMEs to take advantage of advances in technology and innovation, realise their aims and grow their business. The support will also help ensure key LEP outputs are met. This support is to be further supplemented by regular networking opportunities, workshops, webinars, conferences, cluster groups, access to market intelligence and referrals to key partners. The approach will provide a true ‘hub’ focus for activity in the food and drink and related high-tech and advanced engineering sectors.
The Food WorksSW Objectives
- Deliver a Food and Drink Centre of Excellence, The Food WorksSW at J21EA.
- Provide a facility that is responsive to the key challenges faced by the Food and Drink sector.
- Offer growth-ready SMEs high quality services and facilities that will enable business to grow, innovate, and invest in new technologies, support job growth and training.
- Develop a cluster of expertise in the food and drink sector within the FEZ at J21EA – to provide a clear focus of food industry expertise, with established innovation processes to support any business wishing to build their growth potential within the region.
- Maximise the economic impact of each SME supported, including new job creation.
- Attract experienced staff with the necessary food and drink sector knowledge and expertise to embed innovation and best practice in each client business.
- Provide a sector specific training and support offer, delivered in partnership with local, regional and national providers. Work with key partners to help address the mismatch between existing skills and those required by growth industries and priority sectors.
- Support the profile raising of the sector across the South West.
Description of Facilities at Food WorksSW
The Food WorksSW has received £11.3m of grant funding from the West of England LEP and is built upon North Somerset Council owned land within the designated FEZ.
The Food WorksSW will consist of two main buildings as follows:
Business Engagement Centre
o 4 Product Development rooms
o Office and Tech space
o Multi-purpose space
o Trial kitchen
o Dry, chilled and frozen storage facilities.
Food-grade business units
Intended Uses of the Buildings
The Business Engagement Centre (Building One)
The Business Engagement Centre has been designed to provide a flexible, inspiring and vibrant space to create a food focused hub as a place to exchange ideas, facilitate collaboration, and share knowledge, know-how and experience. The layout of the Engagement Centre will facilitate this building to be multi-user and multi-purpose to accommodate the needs of businesses across the food and drink sector. This building includes café, space for hot-desking facilities, networking and informal and formal meetings, conference space, a multi-purpose room, meeting spaces of varying size and four product development rooms.
The Product Development rooms
The four Product Development Rooms and related storage facilities that sit within the Business Engagement building will provide much needed facilities and technical support to guide businesses through the critical product development stage. This could include short term research and development (R&D) such as product reformulation to respond to changes in market demand, through to more significant longer term R&D that could give larger manufacturers greater leverage to exploit new technologies to bring a new product to market and create a real competitive advantage.
Together these facilities will enable flexible use by multiple food industry users with the appropriate support systems and structures under one roof. The facility will need to be suitably managed so that larger companies can undertake research and product development with a high degree of privacy and data security to ensure the necessary level of Intellectual Property is maintained and smaller companies can take advantage of on-site technical support in developing their products.
The Trial and Development kitchen will be fitted out providing facilities that should enable micro businesses to scale up production in an affordable, accessible way on a relatively regular basis until they can reach a turnover that will allow them to take on a business unit. Equally, larger businesses will be able to carry out small batch runs for consumer testing or to meet one off large orders. This will enable them to explore and trial the production of new and innovative food ingredients, new processing technologies, novel packaging, shelf-life extension, new raw materials for food & drink production and develop new processes to convert waste streams to new value-added products and new more sustainable production methods. Three further Product Development rooms provide the flexibility to focus and fit out these facilities to meet business demands and be responsive to rapid changes in technology and trends over time.
Food-grade Business units (Building Two)
The Business units will provide food and drink SMEs with modern and affordable premises that conform to the highest food standards and meet the latest environmental health legislation. These food-grade units are designed to attract food and drink businesses who can show growth potential and will allow a business to move in with the confidence that the standards of the units and availability of on-site technical and specialist support will enable their business to see immediate and tangible business benefits and growth.
It is expected that tenants of business units will benefit from being located within this supportive environment which ensures access to The Food WorksSW’ technical support and business engagement team as part of their rental package. As well as enabling the general development of a business, the focus is to encourage businesses to grow which will require them to relocate to larger premises, ideally into Phase Two of The Food WorksSW, once developed, or the wider FEZ. It is anticipated that within 3 – 5 years businesses should be sufficiently established and more self-sufficient to move on to larger premises but this will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A degree of business churn will be necessary to discourage businesses seeing these units as a long term solution as this will prevent others benefitting from this supportive business environment.
The Food WorksSW staff will need to create, develop, expand and manage a successful business delivering the Scheme and Objectives, the principal components of which are detailed below;
The key elements of which are:
- Marketing of The Food WorksSW – to attract SME tenants to the business units, hire of product development facilities, meeting room space and the delivery of business support and technical services.
- Interviewing and selecting potential growth-ready SME businesses as potential occupiers of the business units.
- Leasing of the business units to selected SME businesses
- Leasing of the Café
- Hiring out of the Product Development rooms, multi-use room, trial kitchen and cafe within the Business Engagement Centre and provision of related business or technical support as required.
- Hiring of meeting rooms, conferencing space, cafe for conferences, networking events, workshops, demonstrations, trade shows etc.
- Providing hard and soft facilities management services for the land and buildings to include; repairs and maintenance, security, service contracts, reception services, licensing, staff recruitment and training.
- Ensuring Food Safety compliance at all times.
The Food WorksSW staff will require a comprehensive understanding of the business development needs of food and drink manufacturing businesses and have proven industry knowledge and experience, including;
- An understanding and realisation of the potential of advances in technology and innovation and provide the necessary support to food and drink manufacturing SMEs to take advantage of these developments and secure related funding/tax credits.
- The ability to develop the Business Engagement Centre element of The Food WorksSW to provide a single point of contact for food and drink manufacturers to access the right support at the right time – a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach.
- An understanding of SMEs. The focus of this specialist food and drink business support will need to be predominantly targeted at SMEs, who individually lack the resource to find the support and act on the opportunities available.
- Ability to establish a clear understanding of the region’s business support landscape and will need to develop strong working relationships and a referral process with Regional providers such as Business West, DiT, North Somerset Enterprise Agency, SW MAS, Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers, colleges and universities. (N.B. this is not an exhaustive list).
- Support will need to be delivered by suitably qualified and experienced Centre staff supplemented by advice and support from other third parties to create a joined up and comprehensive support offer across the region.
- Support provided will enable food and drink SMEs to grow at an accelerated rate, within a supported environment whilst also providing support to supply chain services to larger manufacturing businesses who wish to relocate into the FEZ.
- Work with the universities and colleges in the region to ensure businesses can access the most appropriate support regarding training, skills and potential funding opportunities.
- Create an active networking group for tenants and businesses within the region.
- Develop and coordinate a regular events calendar supporting food and drink SME clients in matters such as innovation and technology, business growth, finance, export, routes to market, scaling up, and accreditation. This calendar should dovetail with the PR/promotional programme for the centre.
- Deliver a programme of events. Meeting and event management will include the sourcing of partners, and sponsorship opportunities and the coordination of all elements related to delivery of small workshops to larger regional events. These events will include those delivered by the in-house team, external partners and other organisations that help support the focus of The Food WorksSW. This will include all elements in respect of room hire including, but not limited to, arranging in-house and external catering, hospitality related activities; IT, exhibition, lighting and equipment hire; invoicing for services; setup and reinstatement of rooms.
- Manage facilities utilisation. High quality meeting rooms are lacking in the area so it is anticipated that there will be a high demand for room hire. Priority should be given as far as possible to tenants and food and drink related businesses.
- Raise the profile of the food and drink sector across the South West which is vital to the ongoing investment needed to ensure that the industry can grow, innovate and respond to the ongoing challenges it faces with dietary requirements, legislation and increasing low profit margins.
- Provide and facilitate on-site specialist and technical business support services to tenants, businesses using The Food WorksSW product development facilities and undertake off-site visits where required.
- Be suitably qualified with extensive and proven food and drink industry experience and a minimum staffing level of suitably qualified staff maintained on-site to be able to deliver the services/support stated within the contract during core hours.
- Manage the Product Development facilities which must at all times comply with all Food Safety regulations, accreditation requirements, and health and safety.
- Clean down and the preparation of all Product Development rooms and trial kitchen ready for users must follow food safety regulations to ensure compliance at all times.
- Adhere to all required sampling and audits as an approved premise.
Provide businesses with specialist advice and support as requested, such as: legislative requirements, certification and compliance support including SALSA, BRC, STS, Halal, organic certification; food regulations and standards; labelling and packaging (including FIR regulations), product innovation and reformulation; HACCP creation and implementation; shelf life and product testing, nutritional analysis, equipment needs; new factory design, set up, layout and process flows; environmental sustainability.
- Delivering technical and specialist business support will require a close working relationship with key regional organisations and stakeholders to avoid duplication and deliver best value for money.
- A food technologist will need to be available to work on a 1-1 basis with any food and drink business using the on-site product development facilities. Businesses will, for example, need to be trained to use the equipment, assisted in scaling up recipes, setting processing conditions, etc. This supportive environment is a vital part of The Food WorksSW offer.
- More established businesses will also need to be assisted in areas such as; the implementation of new processes for new or existing products, automating existing processes, introducing new technology into the manufacturing process, process control and best manufacturing practices.
- Businesses will need support to undertake research and development to help increase innovation, technical advances and increase productivity. This will require links to be developed with relevant regional and national organisations.
- The Food WorksSW staff will need to form part of the wider ecosystem of innovation and science centres nationally and internationally, including those which are non-sector specific. These links will need to be developed to firmly embed the centre within the region and maximise learning.
- To comply with State Aid regulations, any business and technical support which is provided at less than a market level charge is expected to be provided under a De Minimis block exemption. Food WorksSW staff will be required to define the value of any support provided, with the Operator collating and reporting sufficient evidence to satisfy State Aid compliance.
Monitoring and Reporting Requirements
The Food WorksSW staff will establish the necessary project management systems and processes for collating evidence of impact, outputs and outcomes and will provide regular reports to the Forum and Partnership Board who will ensure these meet Council and LEP reporting requirements.
Downloadable Forms Below