Ingredients supplier British Bakels has opened a new £10m distribution centre in Oxfordshire.

The purpose-built 80,000 sq ft facility, which has a capacity of more than 10,000 pallets, opened its doors last month, less than a mile from Bakels’ manufacturing site in Bicester.

Bakels said the freehold investment gave it a foundation for future growth in bakery and the wider food industries. The centre will house all finished goods and frees up space for future manufacturing capacity at the main site.

“This is only the latest, although largest, investment Bakels has made since acquiring the site on Launton Road in 1986,” said Bakels managing director Paul Morrow.

“Our number of employees has risen from six in 1990 to 210 today. We are fully committed to Bicester as the centre of our UK operations.”

Bakels said the site demonstrated its responsiveness to customer demands. It features Automatic Very Narrow Aisle trucks that help reduce carbon footprint and operate in aisles designed for high-volume orders, while semi-automatic wide-aisle trucks manage aisles for assembling mixed product orders. The site also uses a range of ride-on trucks.

With capacity for two additional office floors, the extra space gave the opportunity for future training/boardroom facilities, added the company.