UK baker Warburtons to expand through facility investment drive - Just Food
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UK baker Warburtons to expand through facility investment drive

By Andy Coyne 20 May 2021 (Last Updated May 20th, 2021 15:37)

Warburtons, the UK bread maker, has revealed plans to spend GBP56m (US$79.1m) on expansion projects to meet demand for non-bread baked products.

UK baker Warburtons to expand through facility investment drive

It will invest GBP26m to expand its bakery in Stockton in north-east England and to build a new plant alongside its existing one in Burnley in the country’s north-west.

Warburtons also plans to spend GBP28m on three new distribution facilities in England – in Widnes in the north-west, Bognor Regis on the south coast and Banbury in Oxfordshire, north-west of London.

Further investment will be in the introduction of new electric vans and upgrades to the technology used across its network

Warburtons said the investment in its manufacturing and distribution capabilities is necessary to “ensure the business is set up to meet the growing demand for innovation in bakery, and to further strengthen its ability to get daily fresh products to stores across the country”.

The new distribution depots in Widnes, Bognor Regis and Banbury will replace three existing sites in Speke, Waterlooville and Buckingham. Warburtons said there will be no headcount reductions as part of the move to the new sites and 150 new jobs will be created.

Investment in manufacturing will see a new thin bagel line introduced at its Stockton bakery and a new crumpet plant at Burnley.

Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, said: “Investing in our infrastructure is key to ensuring the long-term success of our fifth generation family business. Consumer tastes are changing, and we work hard to make sure we are providing a range of products to meet consumer demand.

“This investment programme will allow us to better respond to these tastes for non-bread baked goods and meet the growing demand for crumpets and bread alternatives such as thin bagels.”

He added: “The investment in three new depots will have a critical role in ensuring we can further support our customers and get bakery to store as fresh as possible each day.”

The company said that, combined with its existing infrastructure, the new sites will allow the company to deliver two million products within 12 hours to stores.

Warburtons’ new thin bagels line at its Stockton bakery will be operational in June 2022, while the new Burnley plant will be ready in October 2021.

The company, which is headquartered in Bolton in north-west England, has a network of 11 bakeries and 18 depots across the UK and supplies 20,000 stores.