Warburtons confirms factory closure
Bakery company Warburtons has confirmed plans to close its bakery in Newcastle, potentially leading to the loss of 100 jobs.
Warburtons said the closure plans have been prompted by changing consumer trends, where consumers are byuing less of its large, traditional loaves in favour of newer products including gluten free options.
The company employs around 118 people in all at the site, which has around 100 people in the traditional bakery, while the rest are employed at its depot and its separate ‘free from’ factory, which has made the group’s gluten, dairy and milk free products for the last eight years. The depot and free-from bakery are unaffected by the closure.
A 45-day consultation process with affected staff is now under way and Warburtons said every effort will be made to redeploy people within the business.
It added that it has plans to invest £3m in the North East to affirm its commitment to the region.
A Warbutons spokesman said: “The bakery market continues to be challenging, and as consumers continue to switch from bread to other wrapped bakery such as bagels, flatbread and crumpets, we need to ensure our business is set up to meet demand for the long term.
“Unfortunately, this means making the very difficult decision to enter into consultation on the proposed closure of our core Newburn bakery. No decision will be made until the thorough consultation is completed and we are supporting everyone affected at this very difficult time.
“We continue to invest in our business and in the last 18 months we have invested over £35m in our infrastructure alone to enable us to innovate and meet changing consumer demand.
“We also remain committed to our North East operations, and over the next 12 months will be making improvements to our free-from bakery and distribution facility at an investment of £3m.”