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Spotlight on food and drink

Somerset West and Taunton and Sedgemoor District Councils have teamed up to design and deliver a tailored support package to local businesses within the food and drink sector.

A mapping and research exercise was undertaken in 2021 highlighted some sector specific needs and issues that local businesses face - from labelling and food safety regulations to training and supply chain disruptions.

The councils have partnered up with experts in the sector to deliver specific business support to address these issues; they will range from expert advice, free training and ultimately access to a small amount of financial assistance.

Free business advice

Our partner, Heart of the South West Growth Hub is providing local food and drink businesses with access to free training programme; Thrive.

Thrive offers business review meeting, one to one sessions and webinars. A business can access up to 12 hours of support. Register on the Heart of the South West Growth Hub website.

Expert advice and learning

A number of specialist training sessions will be held over the coming months. Topics will cover labelling and allergens and supplying the public sector among others. Our current plans include:

  • 5 October 2022 - Labelling and allergens workshop 
  • November 2022 – Intellectual Property workshop - keep an eye on the Growth Hub website for further information.
  • January 2023 – Meet the Buyer event - details to follow.
  • Throughout the Autumn –free events run by the Food Works

We have also teamed up with the Heart of the South West Trading Standards and will be offering subsidised expert's time to those that sign up to the Growth Hub's Thrive programme. Visit Devon and Somerset Trading Standards to learn about what support they can offer.

Please note there is a limited number of sessions available and they will be allocated on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. Please contact us if you would like to access Trading Standards’ free advice.

Grants

In order to qualify businesses are required to sign up to Thrive and attend at least one of many expert workshops that are available (above) or utilise Trading Standards’ time, you will then be invited to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 per business.

Applications will open in December, applicants will need to demonstrate how the grant will support their business. Applications will be assessed on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

Please contact Hattie Winter email: h.winter@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk if you would like to know more about any of the above.

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