Food and Drink Academy to provide free taster session for non-members

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The Independent Food and Drink Academy (IFDA) – a joint venture run by Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City Council (LCC) and supported by Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) – is set to host a free ‘Breakfast and Networking’ event.

The Independent Food and Drink Academy (IFDA) – a joint venture run by Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City Council (LCC) and supported by Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) – is set to host a free ‘Breakfast and Networking’ event.

Set to be held at the new permanent site of Manjits Kitchen, Leeds Kirkgate Market from 9-10.30am on Tuesday 6 September, the event will provide Leeds’s independent food and drink traders with a final opportunity to sample the IFDA for free before paid membership is launched late August. Spaces are limited; to book please email IFDA@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Hailed the first of its kind in the UK, the IFDA is a unique business service that will offer advice, support and training to small independent enterprises through a blend of contextualised learning and development opportunities.

From £100 membership fee per year, Academy members will have access to a wide range of significant benefits provided by both Leeds Beckett and LCC, which could include business health checks, educational master classes, funding for growth advice, discount city centre trading pitches, a student talent pool and peer-to-peer networking events.

Charlotte Nutland, Product Development Manager at Leeds Beckett University, said:

’We hope by launching our exciting new membership it will provide an arena for the food and drink community to come together and share ideas, stories and tips for creating innovative and sustainable businesses for the future.

Launched in April 2016 at the Belgrave Music Hall and Trinity Kitchen, the IFDA has already amassed the support of some of Leeds’s most successful food operators, including Arc Inspirations, Red’s True Barbecue and Leeds Indie Food.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

The benefits to those who join the Independent Food and Drink Academy will be long-term. The advice and support available through the Academy will be invaluable to many start-ups or growing businesses, and will help them maximise on the increase in popularity in the food and drink industry in our city.

Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive, LeedsBID, commented:

Independent food and drink is a key ingredient in the city’s culinary offer and is vital in driving a unique food offering all year round; putting Leeds firmly on the national food map. LeedsBID is pleased to support this new initiative for the city; building strength and reputation of the sector and raising the profile of Leeds.

Emily Boothroyd, a street food business owner in Leeds (Bánh mì Booth), said:

If the opportunity to work with an academy like the IFDA had been offered to me when I was starting out I wouldn’t have hesitated to sign up.

When you start a food business you need all the advice you can get. To have someone you can turn to and run ideas past, someone that has been there, done that, has expertise in that particular area, be it accounting or event planning – is really an invaluable resource.

Set to be held at the new permanent site of Manjits Kitchen, Leeds Kirkgate Market from 9-10.30am on Tuesday 6 September, the event will provide Leeds’s independent food and drink traders with a final opportunity to sample the IFDA for free before paid membership is launched late August. Spaces are limited; to book please email IFDA@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.The ‘Breakfast and Networking’ event will see IFDA supporter, Manjit, talk about her own personal journey into street food – from her early beginnings to the success she enjoys today. Attendees will also receive an Indian breakfast prepared by Manjit herself.

For further information, to read more about members’ benefits or to contact one of the IFDA support team, visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/ifda/. The IFDA is also on twitter @IFDAcademy and Instagram.