New bakery rises from the ashes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: England, West midlands

Warburtons has reopened its Wednesbury bakery which was destroyed by fire in January 2004.The West Midlands bakery, which employs 495 people, can...

Warburtons has reopened its Wednesbury bakery which was destroyed by fire in January 2004.

The West Midlands bakery, which employs 495 people, can produce more than 2.25m loaves per week, including farmhouse and organic bread.

The company also strengthened its position as the UK's leading independent baker by the purchase of the Rathbones bakery site in Stockton, last month.

It already has a strong presence in the north of England. The chairman Jonathan Warburton said demand continues to grow in that area. "The addition of another strategic site in the south of the region makes sound business sense. It will help us provide an even better service," he said.

The Stockton plant will be operational nine months after refurbishment. Meanwhile, the family firm will open what is claimed to be the biggest bakery in Europe at Wakefield this summer. It will then own 12 bakeries.

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