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The Independent Food and Drink Academy

Know-how from the Street and Indie Food sector

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The Independent Food and Drink Academy (IFDA), provides a unique service to small independent enterprises from street food traders through to established small businesses, offering advice, support and training to help their businesses grow in this dynamic sector. Developed and delivered by industry experts, the Academy is a joint partnership with Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Council. The Academy’s objective is to help to professionalise, sustain and grow the independent food and drink sector in the Leeds city region by providing a blend of contextualised learning and development opportunities.

Become a member today!

Member Benefits:

As a member of the Independent Food and Drink Academy you will receive many benefits to help to grow and sustain your business, including:

  • Business Networking Events : meet with likeminded individuals across the sector. 
  • Business mentoring days: we match our members with mentors to help develop business strategies.
  • Educational master classes: our workshops focus on specific issues for start-up and growth businesses, such as finance, people, operations and marketing.

The Leeds Food and Drink Scene

Leeds is nationally recognised for having one of the best independent restaurant, bar and café scenes in the UK and many large organisations look to Leeds for inspiration and creative new ideas.

The large number of knowledgeable 'foodie' tourists and innovative locals, combined with a thriving network of high profile media outlets in the city, generates great opportunities for creative and enthusiastic food and drink entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses in a thriving and receptive market.

Learn more about the Independent Food and Drink Academy

Our Partners

Friends of the IFDA

Testimony from our resident consultant

"Like many food businesses Fish& launched on the back of a big idea. No extensive professional catering expertise, experience or training. Just an idea and a go do attitude. In a short space of time, and learning as we went along, Fish& became recognised as one of the pioneers of street food outside London, gained national media coverage, trading slots at some of the country’s most prestigious festivals, including Glastonbury, and won best main dish at the British Street Food Awards.

"But where to next? Working with the team at Leeds Beckett (in the embryonic IFDA) provided a sounding board to explore ideas and directions, and to understand the KPIs and milestones required to move Fish& forward. On the face of it not as rock and roll as working Glastonbury but means the next chapter of the Fish& story will hopefully be as exciting and rewarding, just less seat of the pants!"

Andrew Critchett

Andrew Crichett
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