William Reed Events & Exhibitions promised "massive investment" as it unveiled plans for a new Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE) this week.

Highlights of the new show, which will take place at Birmingham’s NEC every two years, will include a demonstration theatre, artisan master classes, competitions and a working bakery.

The exhibition will run from 6-9 April, 2008, alongside the Convenience Retailing Show, Food & Drink Show and Foodex Meatex, also owned by William Reed.

A patrons’ board has now been formed, which includes Tesco’s category development manager Neil Franklin, Chatwin’s Trevor Mooney and miller Rank Hovis, plus bakery chain Paul.

Peter Mellon, president of equipment supplier Reiser UK, commented: "If William Reed can do for the bakery industry what they have done for the meat industry, it will give the sector a much needed boost."

William Reed’s plans are being crystallised at the same time as BEL, the board of the Food & Bake show, is canvassing members on whether to support BIE or another industry show at another time.

Charles Reed, group MD of William Reed, which publishes British Baker and Bake & Take, said: "The Birmingham food shows attract more visitors, including major bakery and confectionery buyers, than any other show at any UK venue. The siting of BIE alongside these is seen as a natural progression for exhibitors and visitors alike."

He added: "It is vital for the industry to have a truly focused event."