Warburtons is under pressure to sell rather than close its Newport bakery after Brace’s announced publicly that it was keen to buy the site and called for union and Welsh Assembly Government support.
At the end of September, Warburtons announced a proposal to close the bakery in South Wales, which employs 114 people, and entered into a 90-day consultation with workers and unions. However, Brace’s has since expressed an interest in buying the site, saving jobs in the process. It remains to be seen whether Warburtons is willing to sell to a rival plant baker.
Scott Richardson, Brace’s sales and marketing director, said: "We have made contact with Warburtons’ head office and have since received a letter of acknowledgement from them, but no advances have yet been made. The Welsh Assembly Government and the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union have been supportive as they are keen to prevent job losses and maintain industry in the local region. Developing a bakery in Newport would be key to future expansion and allow us to continue to improve our offering." Brace’s had previously expressed an interest in the site.
In a statement, Warburtons said it was holding a consultation, during which it would contact those who had expressed an interest in the site: "The purpose of the consultation is to review the company’s proposal and explore all alternatives to closure and possible redundancies. These alter-natives may ultimately include the potential sale of the site and Warburtons welcomes the various expressions of interest it has received from a number of parties. Our key priority is to ensure that our employees understand the reasons behind the company’s proposal and have the opportunity to discuss that rationale."