McCambridge has sold off five bakeries in its ’niche’ division to D&G Food Group - a company newly created by former Roberts Bakery chairman Graham March.

The five bakeries, which were acquired when Irish bakery group McCambridge bought cake firm Inter Link from administration in 2007, make breads, cakes, pies and pasties for retail and foodservice markets. They are: Aldreds the Baker (Ilkeston, Derbyshire); Queen of Hearts (Oxford); Husseys (Thatcham, Berkshire); Tredinnick Fine Foods (Newton Abbott, Devon); and West of England Bakeries (Plympton, Devon). "The decision to sell the companies is part of our strategy to dispose of non-core businesses," said McCambridge’s director of finance and strategy Mark Devine.

McCambridge was recently restructured into four divisions: own-label, Ireland, Soreen and niche. The sale of the five bake-ries leaves the niche division with a bakery in Poland and Creative Cakes in Salisbury.

D&G managing director Graham March has set up the company with operations director David Fearnley-Brown. March told British Baker that he planned to close the Husseys bakery, while Queen of Hearts, Aldreds and Tredinnick would be turned into "centres of excellence" for cakes, breads, and pies and pasties, respectively. West of England Bakeries would operate as a standalone business. The five bakeries employ around 250 workers, with 40 at the Husseys site.

"The greater focus that can be achieved within a smaller group will bring benefits to all," he said.

l In other news, the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union said that, following consultation, McCambridge would close its Thornton Road bakery in Bradford on 17 June, with the loss of around 85 jobs, while 35 employees will transfer to its nearby City Road site.