Nearly 50 staff who thought their jobs had been saved when Frank Roberts & Sons bought P&A Davies out of administration are to be made redundant.

Roberts said that because P&A Davies’ six shops were no longer part of the business - four of which have been bought by Chatwins there was no need for its wholesale operation and, as a result, 48 factory staff were expected to be let go, with some of these taking voluntary redundancy.

The company added that it had been, "trying to establish a more profitable and viable business," since it had bought the ailing firm and hoped to safeguard 45 former P&A Davies’ staff jobs once the consultation ended on 5 November.

Ten staff have already transferred to Roberts’ Northwich-based manufacturing facility to work in the Pastry Case a division of the Roberts’ group, which is the UK’s largest manufacturer of gingerbread men.

A further 35 workers will stay at P&A Davies’ recently opened bakery facility in Hawarden, near Chester, which will remain operational. The retention of these staff at Hawarden will mean Roberts can continue to produce its range of frozen products and increase production of other products.

MD Mike Braddock said: "We have spent the last few weeks working towards a solution that would safeguard as many jobs as possible, while providing a strong business model to take forward.

"Unfortunately, the current economic climate, and the changes to the business resulting from the separation of the shops, means that we are unable to maintain current staffing levels."

>>Chatwins buys up four P & A Davies stores

>>Roberts snaps up central bakery of P & A Davies