Maple Leaf Bakery UK is investing £11.5m in a new production line at its bagel plant in Rotherham as it streamlines the business further.

Following a boost to bagel sales of 30% in the first quarter, to 31 March 2013, New York Bakery Co - the company’s bagel arm, said it has "major UK expansion plans".  The firm said these plans would strengthen the brand’s category leadership, as it looks to double UK household penetration in the next five years.  

The new line will extend the existing Rotherham factory in the latter part of 2013, increasing capacity and securing jobs on a long-term basis, said the firm.

Cliff Irwin, managing director of Maple Leaf Bakery UK, told British Baker: "The significant backing by Maple Leaf Foods (parent company) will enable us to move forward with our ambitious expansion plans in the next five to ten years.  As a result we can now increase our capacity at our Rotherham site to meet growing consumer demand and support our growth aspirations as the market leader in specialty bagels."

Last week the manufacturer announced the disposal of its Italian breads division, based in Park Royal, London, to David Wood Baking, for an undisclosed sum, last week. Leeds-based David Wood Baking Group produces savoury and sweet pastry products, bread, morning goods and confectionery.