Management at the Park Cake Bakery in Bolton, Lancashire, have begun talks with the workforce over plans to cut 40 jobs.

The company announced the job cuts after a review of the bakery’s trading position. A company statement said: "The decision has been prompted by the need to consolidate the business and secure the jobs of the remaining workforce while realigning the business against the overall market place."

A 30-day consultation period has now begun to discuss ways of implementing the 40 redundancies out of a workforce of 345. Ian Hodson, Preston district organiser of the Baker’s Union, told British Baker its priority was to avoid compulsory redundancies and to ensure that, if the number of employees had to be reduced, it was done on a voluntary basis.

He was due to meet company officials this week and hoped they could "look at opportunities for reducing the number of redundancies the company is asking for". He added: "We will be fighting to keep everybody employed and will look at what their justification is for the redundancies." Last year, plans to cut around 100 jobs at the bakery were withdrawn, Hodson said, following the union’s threat to organise a strike ballot and a sudden pick-up in orders.

The firm was bought by investment firm Vision Capital from previous owner Northern Foods in a £160m deal in 2006. Employees had hoped this would provide stability at the firm company, which is affected by seasonal demand.