Scotbake is super-sizing its business, following a multi-million-pound cash injection.

The firm – the largest independent wholesale craft bakery in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland – will move from its 18,000sq ft premises in Inverness to the 140,000sq ft Burnett Bakery site, which stopped making bread in 1996, when British Bakeries made 50 staff redundant. The building was latterly owned by Hovis as a distribution centre.

The Bank of Scotland investment means the 20-year-old firm will relocate its 70 existing staff and also hopes to add 30 new jobs in the first year, including drivers and bakers.

Scotbake forecasts annual turnover to rise by more than 50% to £3m as a result. Scotbake already distributes Kingsmill and Warburtons across the Highlands and Islands and the expansion will see it take over distribution of Hovis products. It also bakes its own bread, rolls and hot plate products, which it sells to the foodservice and retail sectors.

Operations director Derek Smith said: “Distance to market is one of the biggest problems facing any business in the north and we now have a ready-made, area-wide daily distribution centre, which could bring huge savings and efficiencies to other suppliers who want to piggy-back onto our operation.”

Scotbake also hopes to build up the bakery business and distribute its products in the central belt – using the spare capacity in the vans bringing supplies north, but going back empty every day.