There is increasing optimism that a buyer has been found for the ’fresh’ division of Gallaghers Bakery, Co Donegal and that more than 40 jobs could be saved.

Last month, parent company IAWS announced that 124 of the bakery’s 189 workers were to lose their jobs, when it closed the frozen arm of the business.

"There have been a number of serious declarations of interest," a spokesperson for Gallaghers told British Baker. Forty jobs could be saved if the fresh business and its assets are acquired by a new owner. "Everybody is working very hard to try and make it happen," added the spokesperson.

Údarás na Gaeltachta, a local government development agency, is involved in the negotiations. Last year Údarás offered an investment of 780,000 (£662,340) to Gallaghers but it was not taken up. However, that financial package still remains available to the company, according to senator Brian Ó Domhnaill.

The production of frozen products alongside a further 25 jobs look set to move to Cuisine De France’s state-of-the-art Grange Castle facility in Dublin over the next few months.