United Central Bakeries’ (UCB’s) West Lothian factory should be back in full production next April, following a fire last month which destroyed much of the plant.
Parent company Finsbury Food Group said at least 70% of its range is expected to be back in full supply this month. Its Christmas cakes are being made at its California Cake Company, while its speciality breads business Nicholas & Harris will supply bread rolls. Potato scones have been outsourced and gluten-free products will be back on line this month.
The rebuilding and business interruption costs of the fire will probably top £5m, said Dave Brooks, chief executive of Finsbury. Losses will be covered by insurance and UCB will likely retain most of its business thanks to supportive customers, which in some cases have rejected approaches by rivals, he said.
UCB is close to ordering ovens and replacement equipment costing more than £2m. No job losses are expected among the 140 UCB workers. "It’s a successful first phase of recovery but there’s still a lot to do," said Brooks.
The fire was probably the result of naan bread catching fire as it emerged from an oven. The factory’s first bay was destroyed completely.