Artisan bakery The Column Bakehouse is to make an £80,000 investment in its infrastructure to increase production by at least 50%.

The Plymouth-based bakery wants to use some of the investment fund, and the capital it raises from expansion, to create an artisan bakery school that offers training and vocational opportunities in the bakery.

About £30,000 will be spent on equipment for the bakery, and rearranging the layout, so that it includes a viewing area, allowing customers to watch what is being made.   

The bakery has also been able to partner with a wholesale distributor, Chadd’s Foodsmith, which will allow the company to supply to restaurants and businesses.

The Bakehouse, which underwent a £1.75m renovation in 2010, bakes on-site and specialises in sourdough loaves. 

It currently only sells in-store at the Devonport Guildhall and at local farmers’ markets.

Claire Burgess, RIO’s commercial manager for the Devonport Guildhall, said: “I see there is business growth in supporting the development of people’s learning, and vice versa. They will be training in an environment that is real.

“There seems to be quite a shortage of training in artisan bread-making at the moment, so there is definitely growth in that market.”

Building and purchasing of the new equipment will start in November, and the renovation is set to be completed by December. The bakery hopes the school will be up and running by 2016.