Chilled savoury pastry supplier Palethorpes Bakery has created 100 jobs with the opening of a £1.3m distribution centre at its site in Market Drayton, Shropshire.

Officially opened this week, the centre features “the latest in lighting and refrigeration technology” and has capacity for more than 700 pallets, according to the Addo Food Group-owned business.

Established in 1852, Palethorpes has 650 staff and produces chilled savoury rolls, savoury hot pies, pasties and slices. The company is currently recruiting for more than 100 new jobs across all operational positions at the new facility.

“This is a very exciting time for us here at Palethorpes Bakery, with over £1m investment in improving our distribution capacity,” said HR manager Jason Page.

The company has also started an outreach programme with The Grove School in Market Drayton, in conjunction with IGD Feeding Britain’s Future programme, which aims to encourage school-leavers to enter the food and grocery industry.

Palethorpes hopes this will “develop a pipeline of talented young people who could be directed to a career with one of the town’s largest employers”.

The centre was officially opened on 14 June by Market Drayton mayor Mark Whittle and Addo Food Group despatch employees Louisa James and Alex Birch.