Waterfields Bakery is to re-open three of the seven Satterthwaites retail bakery outlets.

The Leigh-based bakery firm confirmed one of the sites on College Road in Crosby had begun to trade on Monday (12 November), and said it was  negotiating with landlords to take charge of a further two outlets, based on Moor Lane located in the same area and Marian Square in Netherton, due to open in the next couple of weeks. All three will trade under the Waterfields name.

Waterfields has also purchased the assets of all three bakery sites from Liverpool-based Satterthwaites, which went into liquidation back in October after failing to find a buyer.

John Waterfield, managing director at Waterfields, told British Baker: “The decision to purchase the Satterthwaites sites was because it seemed like a natural fit to the business, as we do not currently trade in the immediate area. We were not looking to expand, but it was an opportunity that presented itself and the fit was good for us.”

He added that the company was currently going through the process of interviewing previous employees from the Satterthwaites workforce, which consisted of 70 members of staff.

“It works quite well because if we can recruit some of the staff who already have a relationship with the customers, then it makes the transfer from one business to the other so much easier. From what I can see already, the people we have taken on board seem to be very customer-focused and that ties in with who we are as a business.”

The three sites will form part of the Waterfields Bakery estate in north-west England, taking its total store count to 49, which could effect its current position of 25th in British Baker’s BB75 list of top UK bakeries based on the number of operating outlets.

Roger Wilson, owner of Satterthwaites, said: “It’s nice to see that members of our staff are back in work and interacting with our old customers. We believe Waterfields has taken on around six members of our staff so far, so it’s nice some of our ex-employees are back in work with a good family-run business.”

The fate of the four remaining sites is still unknown, with two belonging to Satterthwaites’ parent company, Satterthwaites Confectioners Limited, which continues to operate as a business.

“One of the sites, which has yet to find a tenant, has been operating as a bakery since 1850, so I would like to see that re-open as a bakery business,” Wilson added. “At the moment we haven’t had anyone approach us, but would welcome this in the future.”

An auction is being held in early December with Eddisons Property Auctions to sell off a range of Satterthwaites’ remaining assets, including bakery and office equipment.