UK baking firm to open new site and rebuild two existing bakeries

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Bill Thurston took up the role of managing director in November 2022. Credit: Roberts
Bill Thurston took up the role of managing director in November 2022. Credit: Roberts

Related tags Investment

Cheshire-based manufacturer Roberts Bakery has announced plans to open a new site in Winsford.

The Winsford site, located four miles from Northwich, will house its Little Treats biscuit manufacturing business and will serve as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for biscuit production.

Equipment will be transferred across to the new site, which is set to feature robotic capability and offer storage capacity for finished products and raw materials.

The baker hopes that the decision to move the production of Little Treats to Winsford will help it maximise control of remaining bakery plants in Rudheath, improve operational layout and create a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for bread in Northwich. Meanwhile, the Ilkeston site in Derbyshire will continue to focus on the manufacturing of artisan and specialised bread products and will become a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for speciality breads.

The firm hopes that the planned moves will allow it to ensure job security for all of its employees across the three sites.

'Moves will revitalise the company'

Roberts, the UK’s fourth-largest baker, secured an £18m cash injection last year courtesy of an asset-based lending facility provided by Wells Fargo, a move that coincided with Bill Thurston being named as managing director.

Speaking after the announcement of the plans, Thurston said: “This is a significant investment plan which will allow us to rebuild and revitalise the company and make sure it is fit for the future.

"The business has shown terrific resilience in recent months and we are indebted to the Roberts family, financial backers, key stakeholders and our people who believe in this brand. Now is the time for a new chapter in our 130-year history​.”

Founded in 1887, Roberts has a turnover of more than £90m. Currently, it employs 730 people and serves a mixture of national branded retail, own-label, food-to-go and foodservice customers.

In other news, Food Manufacture interviewed Simon Davies of Drop Bear Beer Co about the firm’s recent move into the UK’s largest alcohol-free brewery​.

Related topics Bakery Operations

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