Roberts in operational overhaul of bakery sites

Fourth-generation family baking business Roberts has announced plans to relocate its Little Treats biscuit manufacturing business to a new site in Cheshire and start work on a significant rebuild of two other bakeries on its Northwich HQ.

The bakers consider the move as the most important operational overhaul in decades. The fourth largest baker in the UK secured an £18 million cash injection last year.

The Little Treats business will move to Winsford, four miles from Northwich, to create a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for biscuit production.

Existing plant equipment will be moved across to the new site and installation of a new robotic capability will be fast-tracked in line with the firm’s ambitions. The building will also provide storage capacity for finished products and raw materials.

The decision to move Little Treats production to Winsford will help Roberts maximise control of the remaining bakery plants in Rudheath, improve operational layout and create a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for bread in Northwich.

A second bakery site in Cheshire further supports the Robert’s brand repositioning in February which saw it celebrating its regional roots and expertise.

The Ilkeston site in Derbyshire will continue to focus on artisan and specialised bread products and also become a ‘Centre for Excellence’ for speciality breads.

The decision is expected to ensure job security for all employees across the three sites and deliver a positive future for the business.

Managing director Bill Thurston said: “This is a significant investment plan which will allow us to rebuild and revitalise the company and make sure it is fit for the future. The business has shown terrific resilience in recent months and we are indebted to the Roberts family, financial backers, key stakeholders, and our people who believe in this brand. Now is the time for a new chapter in our 130-year history.”

Roberts has a turnover in excess of £90m, employing over 730 people, and serves a mix of national branded retail, own-label, food-to-go and food service customers.

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