Maple Leaf Bakery has confirmed it is to close its Walsall site with the loss of 236 jobs. Attempts before Christmas to find a buyer had failed, said HR director Paul Clipson. "Sadly the staff will therefore be made redundant," he said.

Clipson told British Baker the factory was closing because the firm was withdrawing from both the sliced bread and ISB loaf categories to focus on its speciality goods. "We have completed a third line for croissant manufacturing at Maidstone, we are installing a third line for bagels at Rotherham and we are increasing volumes from our speciality bread bakery in West London," he said.