Work is under way on Warburtons’ £45 million new ’super-bakery’ in Bristol, which is expected to employ 450 staff and produce 1.5 million products each week.

The 220,000sq ft bakery, which is being built on a 12-acre site at the Western Approach Distribution Park at Severn Beach, is expected to be fully operational by December 2008 and will enable the production of a wider range of products for distribution to Wales and the south west.

The building project will eventually involve the construction of two plants and forms part of the company’s national expansion programme. It will be Warbur-tons’ 14th bakery and will open up distribution to multiples, convenience stores and other retail outlets.

Company chairman Jonathan Warburton said: "This is one of our biggest investments to date and reinforces our commitment to the south west. We opened our Welsh bakery in Newport two years ago, but we still need more capacity to meet increasing consumer demand."

David Williams, who has moved from the company’s Welsh bakery at Newport to become Bristol general manager, said the new bakery would have a climate-controlled mixing room. He added that the road infrastructure, with the close proximity of the M4 and M5, made it an ideal location. Recruitment is now under way to fill bakery and packaging positions.