The Scottish Association of Master Bakers’ (SAMB’s) new training centre in Larbert is now fully equipped and ready for business.

The centre at Mathieson’s bakery near Falkirk is open to everyone in the UK baking trade, not just Scottish bakers, and has taken two years to develop. It comprises a test bakery, eight computers and seminar and conference rooms.

Courses can run for up to 70 people and ADM Milling, which is among those who have supported the centre, will be one of the first to deliver a technical course.

At the SAMB conference in May, Iain Campbell, convenor of the training and education committee, urged the industry to make the most of the new facility.

"Use it or lose it," he said. "Everyone within travelling distance, both sides of the border, should make use of the new facility."

The centre is close to the M9 and is accessible by train from Edinburgh and Glasgow, with Edinburgh airport 30 minutes away.

Arthur Rayer, head of skills training for the SAMB, said: "We hope the industry will support a range of courses and that it will become a hub of learning, used by manufacturers and suppliers alike."

George Stevenson of Mathieson, who is the new vice president of the SAMB, and John Murray, past president who oversaw the development of the training centre, were thanked at conference for their efforts.

Meanwhile, the SAMB 40 Group for bakers aged 40 and under will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September 2008.

l See pg 14 for coverage of the SAMB technical sessions.