Around 39 jobs are to go at Brace’s Bakery, after the family-owned firm announced it was to close its site in Crumlin, near Newport.

The loss-making factory will close on 4 April. The company is hopeful that staff losses can be made through voluntary redundancies, and a 30-day consultation period has begun.

Scott Richardson, chief executive of Brace’s, told British Baker: “After a lot of careful consideration, we have decided to outsource the production of Welsh cakes and fruit bread to a third party, as it is no longer financially viable to continue to produce these in the current way. Unfortunately we have made the tough decision to close the site.”

The factory, on the Croespenmaen industrial estate, was formerly the head office site for Brace’s and produced many of the company’s products, but in recent times it has focused on Welsh cakes and fruit bread.

He added: “We recognise and value the contributions of our staff at the Croespenmaen site, and will be working with the affected employees to mitigate the impact of the transfer. We hope to avoid compulsory redundancies by offering redeployment into vacant posts and through schemes such as voluntary redundancy and early retirement.

“This is a difficult time for everyone and will remain challenging while the changes are implemented. We are committed to maintaining our position as a leading employer in Wales and are working with staff, unions and the Welsh Government to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“In making these changes, the company will maintain our 24/7 output of our core, high quality products at the remaining two sites. The unique recipe of our Welsh cakes and fruit bread will continue to be produced, so customers will still be able to enjoy Brace’s Welsh Cakes for many years to come”

290 staff across four sites

Brace’s employs more than 290 staff across four sites. Having recently invested in the future of the company with new technology, its Rogerstone and Pen-y-fan sites now operate at 24/7 capacity, producing over one million loaves each week.

Last month, Consensus for Action on Salt & Health collected data on white bread brands in the UK, and Brace’s and Linwoods did not meet the 2017 max salt target.