n The Wiltshire town of Melksham has lost its last independent bakers with the closure of Webbs Bakery. Owner Mick Eglin looked back on "32 brilliant years" and said that the bakery had outlasted most of the other independents in the county.

He added that trading conditions had been "extremely difficult" and, while emphasising that he was not "an anti-supermarket person", he suggested that most people now wanted to do their shopping once a week "with a big trolley".

n The Firkins bakery chain is to close four of its shops in the West Midlands and has put them up for sale while it is spending £2.5 million revamping its 57 other outlets across the region.

Ian Bolderston, who rescued Firkins in 2006 when it was close to collapse, said the four shops in Wolverhampton, Codsall, Wednesbury and Old Hill were "not part of the company’s long-term portfolio", but would be sold as going concerns.

He said the company was focused on consolidation, with a re-fit for seven shops, as well as plans to open five more.

n Hall’s Bakery in Chorley, West Sussex, has appointed Steve Middleton, a former restaurant owner, as operations manager of the bakery’s newly launched catering business.

The family firm recently launched a catering service for small functions and corporate meetings. It plans to expand on this.