Fire-ravaged Speedibake factory unlikely to reopen

The fire destroyed two buildings and damaged others
  (Photo: Scott Merrylees )

Speedibake does not plan to rebuild its site in Wakefield that was devastated by fire four weeks ago.

The blaze completely destroyed two buildings and caused structural damage to others.

Speedibake stated: “With great regret, we consider that the financial cost and time needed to undertake a full rebuild is simply too great to make it a viable option.”

Around 160 staff will be affected by the planned closure. The company said it had explored a number of options to keep the site open, and would still consider alternative proposals.

In a trading update this week, Speedibake parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) referred to the “significant damage” at Wakefield, and stated it has comprehensive insurance for property damage and business interruption.

Following the fire on 1 February, Speedibake pledged to pay staff for at least three months while damage was assessed.

Today (27 February) it said: “We have been mindful that we need to give people clarity as quickly as possible so that they can plan for the future.

“We know this announcement will be deeply upsetting for many people and we give our absolute commitment that, if the proposals are accepted, we will support those affected to help them find alternative employment.”

Some roles will be offered in the Bradford Speedibake site, following the transfer of a Wakefield production line there. Speedibake said it would also be speaking to other businesses owned by ABF about potential job openings.

“In the meantime, we will continue to work with our employees through this period of consultation and have expressed to them our deep gratitude and pride in the manner they responded to the fire and its aftermath,” said Speedibake.

“We are also thankful for the support we continue to receive from the community, our suppliers and customers.”

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