Greggs wins approval for £30M savouries factory

By Andrew Williams

- Last updated on GMT

The start of building work on Greggs’ new £30M frozen savouries factory is understood to be 'imminent'
The start of building work on Greggs’ new £30M frozen savouries factory is understood to be 'imminent'
High street baker Greggs has won approval to build a new frozen savouries factory in the Midlands, as the firm pursues its store expansion plan and continues its move into packaged supermarket retail.

The UK’s biggest bakery retailer would not be drawn about the implications for jobs for the site in Hinckley, Leicestershire, which would add to its existing frozen savouries manufacturing capacity in the north east of England. But a spokesperson confirmed it would be its “second savoury production facility and this will not result in job losses”.

The scheme was approved by Hinckley and Bosworth County Council last week, following a planning application that was submitted in January.

The Greggs spokesman added the site would receive £30M investment but could not confirm a timescale for work’s completion.

Most Iceland stores

Greggs – which supplies its products frozen into its fast-growing estate of 1,671 stores for bake-off – was also the surprise success of the stagnant frozen fast-moving consumer goods category last year. Initially, it launched packaged home-bake sausage roll and pasty lines into Iceland on trial last year and products now feature in most Iceland stores.

The new Midlands plant could open up capacity and herald a wider roll-out into other UK supermarkets.

Wayne Brown, analyst with investment bank Canaccord Genuity, said Greggs’ move into the multiples was “the main catalyst”​ for building the site.

He said: “It is opening the plant to support the increase in growth to its wholesale business for third-party distribution, which is to supply frozen products to Iceland, and through its distribution channels overseas​, for example the army in Germany. It’s also to free up space so that the other distribution centres can focus on the core business.

“In time, you might find they branch out into other multiples. But at this stage I think their key focus is on Iceland.”

Excellent transport links

The location near Ashby Canal was chosen for its excellent transport links, said chair of the council’s planning committee Rob Mayne. It is situated around 100m from the A5 and 500m from the M69 junction for links to the M1 and M6.

With the number of potential jobs cited by planning officers standing at 300, Greggs’ arrival could provide a boon for the local economy. “I understand​ [building work] will be imminent. The site is all pegged out and is ready to make a start,”​ said Mayne. “I am absolutely delighted because it will create jobs for the people of the borough.”

In January, Greggs appointed new chief executive Roger Whiteside to take over from departed ceo Ken McMeikan, who presided over its retail estate expansion of 100 outlets in 2012 alone.

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