Independent flour miller FWP Matthews is to build a £1m warehouse at its Cotswold base in Shipton under Wychwood. Work will start on the 675sq m building in late summer and will be finished by the end of the year. It will house a new automated palletiser to speed up logistics while four lorry loading bays will mean loading can be done under cover for the first time.

The family company had a mill re-fit last year and has recently employed a sales rep, which marketing manager Angela Francis said had prompted the move. “Production is higher and sales are up, which means we need more warehousing space to relieve the pressure. Staff have also been working in a Portakabin so it’s another reason why we had to take such a big step,” she said.

The first floor will house office space as well as a test bakery where staff will be able to try out new ideas, along with a viewing area where visiting groups can see millers and bakers in action. FWP Matthews produces 600 tonnes of organic and conventional flour each week from UK wheat and sells a range of imported Moul-bie French flours direct to plant and craft bakeries as well as retail packs through the Co-operative Group.

A mock-up Ronde des Pain shop, complete with Moul-bie flour branding, will be set up in the new warehouse for those bakers interested in linking up with the French brand. Said Francis: “It will have branded bags and literature and will give them a better idea of what their shop could look like.”

French bakers will also hold bakery demonstration in the new facility.