Maple LEAF BAKERY has unveiled a new £12m bagel line for the New York Bagel Company at its Rotherham site.

The automated line has been installed in a new building and, according to deputy managing director Guy Hall, is believed to be the largest in the world producing bagels by the traditional method of simmering the dough in boiling water.

“It’s like a new factory,” Hall told British Baker, “and unique in the UK.” The new line is the second at the company’s Rotherham plant and will provide capacity to meet demand in a category said to be growing 20% year on year. It has created 50 new jobs, bringing Maple Leaf’s total staffing to around 500.

New York Bagels are sold by major retailers and contain 2.5% fat and less than 1% salt. The firm also supplies frozen and ambient private label bagels. Hall said that all bagel sales are made in the UK and currently there are no plans to export to Europe, but added “don’t rule it out”.

In addition to bagel production, Maple Leaf produces pretzels at its Southend plant, speciality Italian-style breads and hand-held snacks in Workington and sliced breads, bake-off and speciality breads at the former Harvestime factory in Walsall. This was bought out of administration in March this year.