Lancashire bakery chain Halls has unveiled plans to expand via a network of stand-alone regional hubs, as a reponse to the issues of food miles and sustainability.

The first location will be Preston, where it has lined up two potential sites for a central bakery, both with an attached shop. It would then open four extra sites, served by that bakery.

Owner Joe Hall commented: “This will be a local business with local suppliers, employing people from the local area. I believe that the issue of food miles is only going to get bigger and this is the solution.”

Halls, which currently has four shops in Chorley, would go on to create a further business in Wigan in the next 18 months, following a similar model. A business would be launched in the Flyde in the next five years. Each of the businesses would be run by a bakery manager.

“Many bakers have problems in succession planning and selling on their business and are just closing up,” said Hall. “It may be that we purchase a local business in that situation, keeping it at the heart of the community.”