Residents of Dunbar in East Lothian are so concerned about the possible closure of the William Smith’s bakery, that they are putting together a plan for the local community to buy it.
Sustaining Dunbar, a not-for-profit association affiliated to the Dunbar Community Develop-ment Company, was officially launched on 30 April this year, and is currently looking at ways to fund a community buy-out of the bakery, which makes cakes, breads and savouries on its high street premises.
At the moment, the Smith family have no concrete plans. "Everything is up in the air," said manageress Katherine Smith, and she admitted that she did not know what would happen to the bakery when the family retires. "It would be nice if it was sold as a going concern, but I guess that depends on whether the price is right. The business has been in the same family for over 150 years and it’s something we’re very passionate about. Everything we sell, we make," she added.
Convener of Sustaining Dunbar Philip Revell said the plans are still in the early stages, and they are in the process of putting together a business plan. "William Smith’s is the only working bakery in Dunbar and, when we heard they were retiring, were very concerned about what it would do to the area," said Revell.
He explained that they would need to move fast in terms of the working out the plans to finance the project, so they could get in a bid for the site, which he stated was currently up for sale.