British Bakeries, part of the Premier Foods group, has announced the proposed closure of one of its bakeries in Bradford, Yorkshire and a depot in Telford, Shropshire, in the face of falling demand for bread.
The company said it anticipated that all manufacturing and support services will cease at the Bradford bakery which would result in around 370 redundancies.
Meanwhile, the dispatch and logistics operations at the same site, which currently employ 205 people, will be reorganised as the unit becomes a depot facility.
A Premier Foods spokesperson denied reports that the company’s eventual aim was to close the site altogether and relocate dispatch and logistics operations to new premises in West Yorkshire.
British Bakeries further stated that all warehouse, logistics and related support activities are to cease at Telford depot, resulting in 60 job losses.
“Closing sites is not a decision we take lightly,” a British Bakeries spokesperson said. “The move reflects an overall fall in bread consumption, changing consumer habits and the increased self sufficiency of British Bakeries’ operations in the South of England resulting in a reduced requirement to transfer bread and morning goods down the country. We understand the impact these proposals will have on those affected and will work with them to ensure that the reasons for these proposals and the options open to them are fully understood.”
British Bakeries said that the affected employees and their trade union officials had been briefed and a consultation process had begun.