CSM Bakery Solutions has confirmed a UK production site earmarked for closure a year ago is to stay open – and will focus on producing gluten-free and “free-from” baked goods and ingredients.

US-based business-to-business baker CSM, which serves retail, foodservice and industrial organisations throughout the UK, said previously it intended to close the facility formerly known as Kate’s Cakes in Ashington, but invest in others to “optimise business operations”.

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However, CSM has now confirmed the site will stay open following “a comprehensive review”. The plant employs 350 staff.

CSM’s head of production in Europe Alex Dekker said: “‘We believe Ashington and its team have a role to play in our bid to maintain our industry leadership in innovation, quality and service.”

Dekker also praised employees at the site for their “record output and service quality levels” over the past year “regardless of the plant’s future”. He added: “I’m glad they will remain part of our team.”

CSM said in February that its factory in Houston, Texas, which had first been slated for closure last October, will now close this month. CSM said changes elsewhere in its manufacturing network had kept the plant open longer.