British bakery giant Warburtons has confirmed plans to close its core bakery in Newcastle, potentially leading to 100 job losses.
The company, which has had the Newburn base since 1989, told staff that it plans to shut down the bakery, citing changing consumer trends for the proposals, according to chroniclelive.co.uk.
The plant employs around 118 people, with around 100 people in the traditional bakery, while the rest are employed at its depot and its separate ‘free-from’ factory, which has been producing the group’s gluten, dairy and milk-free products for the last eight years.
Warburtons said the closure plans have been prompted by changing consumer trends, which has led some customers to stop buying its large, traditional loaves in favor of newer products including gluten-free options.
The depot and free-from bakery are unaffected by the proposals.
A 45-day consultation process with affected staff is now underway and Warburtons said every effort will be made to redeploy people within the business.
It added that it has plans to invest GBP3m in the North East to affirm its commitment to the region. A Warbutons spokesman said “The bakery market continues to be challenging, and as consumers continue to switch from bread to other wrapped bakery such as bagels, flatbread and crumpets, we need to ensure our business is set up to meet demand for the long term. Unfortunately, this means making the very difficult decision to enter into consultation on the proposed closure of our core Newburn bakery. No decision will be made until the thorough consultation is completed and we are supporting everyone affected at this very difficult time.