Bakery giant CSM revealed plans to close the Ashington-based Kate’s Cakes site last year, but has now announced it will keep it open to focus on ‘free-from’.

CSM, which took over the firm of Kate’s Cakes in Ashington in 2006, announced plans to close the site last year. But it announced yesterday (12 March) that it is to keep the Sussex plant open, which will save around 350 jobs.

Originally, CSM sent out letters to staff in February last year, saying it was to close its bakery site on the Wiston Trading estate in Ashington, and one in Esher, by the end of 2017. It had planned to open a new site in Daventry and extend another in Bradford.

But now CSM says it has undertaken a “comprehensive review” of its plans and the Ashington bakery - which achieved record sales over the past year - will remain open.

Alex Dekker, CSM’s head of production in Europe, said: “We believe Ashington and its team have a role to play in our bid to maintain our industry leadership in innovation, quality and service.

“I also must note the dedication and pride of the Ashington workers, who, over this past year, have delivered record output and service quality levels, regardless of the plant’s future. I’m glad they will remain part of our team.”

He said the former Kate’s Cakes plant will focus on producing gluten-free and ‘free from’ baked goods and ingredients for CSM.