Butcher MI Dickson is extending its South Shields bakery after getting a £200,000 boost from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The family business is investing another £800,000 in kitting out the site, which will double capacity and create five new jobs. The 2,000sq m site is adding another 575sq m to the building, allowing it to produce an extra 15 tonnes of baked goods a week.

MI Dickson produces cooked meats and sausages, as well as pies, pasties and bread, which is used to make sandwiches at its 20 delicatessens around the north east. Said marketing manager Elena Dickson: “The expansion will allow us to have a much better factory for baking, cooling and packing.”

Pies and pasties are sold under its own brand in Asda and Sainsbury’s shops in the region, but Dickson added that, with the extra capacity, the company hoped to be able to get into local Tesco and Morrisons stores as well, before targeting nationwide distribution.

Adrian Sherwood, RDPE manager at One North East, said: “The new ovens they are buying with RDPE funding are more energy-efficient than their existing ones; the refrigeration areas are better insulated and the compressors are more efficient – together ensuring reduced energy consumption.”

MI Dickson was named ‘Best UK Family Business’ in the £5m-£25m turnover category of the Coutts Prize for Family Business 2009/10 and was recently visited by David Miliband MP, who toured the factory and saw the factory plans.