Lantmännen Unibake is to move into sweet pastry production in the UK for the first time.

Work has now begun on a new 8,000sq m factory near Bedford, with the first phase of investment scheduled to start operating in May 2011, announced the firm.

The new unit – a cold bakery – will employ over 200 people. It will comprise two separate lines for manufacturing pre-proven dough as ready-to-bake Danish pastries, for in-store bakeries and caterers.

The products will be distributed by its sister company, Bakehouse, which currently takes its products from a Unibake factory in Denmark.

CEO of Lantmännen Unibake UK Søren Landtved said that Lantmännen Unibake had always believed that the product needed to be produced close to its customers.

“The UK is Lantmännen Unibake’s single biggest market. We firmly believe that moving our production base from Denmark to a local UK site in Bedford will greatly benefit our overall growth opportunities within the marketplace here,” he explained.