Allied Bakeries says its Norwich depot is no longer viable.

Allied Bakeries says its Norwich depot is no longer viable.

Associated British Foods is to close its a UK bakery distribution depot.

Explaining the decision, ABF's Allied Bakeries arm said the "significant deterioration of the depot's infrastructure" meant it was no longer viable without a high level of investment. 

Alied Bakeries is consulting with the 49 staff who work at the site but said there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Nick Law, director of operations at Allied Bakeries, said: "Due to the highly competitive nature of the UK bread market, we continually review our operations to continue to offer the best service to our customers and to manage the cost base of our business.

"We have concluded that the investment that would be needed to modernise the site would not provide a sufficient return to the business in the long term, and as such we have announced that we are proposing to close the Norwich depot."

Law added: "We are hopeful that a significant number of our employees will be able to transfer their employment to a local third party logistics company [CEVA] with whom we're currently in contract negotiations for them to take on local deliveries on behalf of Allied Bakeries. Otherwise, we will make every effort to help anyone affected to find alternative employment either within Allied Bakeries, the broader ABF group or externally in the local area. We'll also be offering staff the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy."

Reporting its third-quarter results in July, ABF said the performance of its bakery business weighed on its grocery division's margins

It said the UK bread market "remained very competitive".