New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed a 2.3% decline in the number of bakery manufacturers over the last year, while the number of bakery retailers grew slightly.

The data shows there were 2,885 bakery retail businesses (eg, Greggs counts as one business) in the UK in 2007, up five on the year before, operating a total of 6,515 units, up 1.7% from 6,405 in 2006. The number of bakery manufacturers (wholesale and industrial) fell from 1,740 to 1,700.

The figures, gathered on March 17, 2007, and published this month, give details of turnover and location of all UK companies by their VAT classifications.

They indicate that the average bakery retailer is based in the north-west, employs under five staff, is over 10 years old and turns over between £100,000 and £249,000.

For example, the data shows there are 835 bakery shops in the north-west, 700 in London and 735 in Scotland. More than half of the 2,885 bakery retail businesses, some 1,465, employ four or less staff.

The new figures also show a rise in the number of mills over the year, with 115 companies operating 185 mills (of all types) in 2007, compared to 170 mills in 2006, which were operated by 105 companies.

The coded data, available from the ONS’s Inter-Departmental Business Register, shows that within the bakery manufacturing industry there were 1,515 manufacturers of bread, fresh pastry and cakes in the UK in 2007, down 35 on 2006.

The ONS also lists 195 manufacturers of rusks and biscuits, preserved pastry goods and cakes (a separate category) up from 190 in 2006. Therefore, the overall tally for bakery manufacturers in 2007 is 1,700.