UK baker Warburtons has announced it may close its plant in Blackpool amid increasing competition in the sector.

The proposal to close the facility, Warburtons said, reflects “the pressure of the continued challenging economic environment and changing demands on our business”.

All 73 employees were briefed on the decision on Wednesday (12 September) and a 90-day consultation period has now begun.

Warburtons said it has faced a “particularly challenging” year due to “increased pressure on household budgets and an increasingly competitive market”. The move, the company said, will enable the company to “maximise ” its manufacturing capacity and produce its products more efficiently.

“As a family business this is a very difficult announcement to make but we must always act as a responsible business and be prepared to take tough decisions, at the right time, so we can ensure Warburtons remains competitive,” said CEO Jonathan Warburton.

This week Associated British Foods (ABF) said the UK bakery market remains “intensively competitive”, with promotional activity reducing margins. The recent increase in wheat costs is also expected to place further pressure on margins, it said.

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