Fletchers Group of Bakeries has invested £7m in a new production facility at its Claywheels Lane site in Sheffield.
The funding for the new facility came from a multi-million pound land sale to Sainsbury’s in 2011. The area sold to the supermarket firm had been used as a carpark, and was previously the site of the most modern part of Fletchers’ bakery before it was destroyed by a fire in July 2006.
The bakery had said that the funds generated from the sale of the land would be vital for Fletchers’ future Sheffield investment plans, "which include the modernisation of part of the factory within the Claywheels Lane site".
Over one-third of the factory was relocated within the existing footprint of the bakery, including two production lines for rolls and doughnuts. Existing facilities were also upgraded and old equipment replaced, with the new facility including a new cold store and dispatch area.
The new facility will supply fresh and frozen, white, brown or seeded rolls to retail and food service customers.
Peter Williams, general manager at Fletchers, told British Baker the new facility offered greater process control, resulting in improving quality and consistency in production.
"The new facility is part of the future and the growth of Fletchers Bakeries. It’s a great tonic to the staff here who can really see the progress that’s been made at the business," said Williams.
"The business is continuing to grow and improve its performance very successfully."
The facility was opened by former employee of 49 years, Gordon Maclean, alongside the Rt Hon. David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield and Hillsborough.
Fletchers Group is made up of four businesses, including Fletchers Sheffield, LBD in Barnsley, Kara in Manchester and Grain D’Or in London. It supplies the major multiples, accounting for 60% of turnover, and the foodservice sector including schools, fast food outlets, and local authorities.
Since posting an operating loss of almost £10m in 2007/2008, the business has achieved a profit of £0.6m in its last financial year.