Baker follows store land sale with recipe for expansion

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FLETCHERS Group of Bakeries has opened a new £7m production facility at its Sheffield base after a multi-million pound land sale to Sainsbury’s.

The new facility houses two production lines, a new cold store and a new despatch area. The facility was opened by Gordon Maclean, a recently retired Fletchers employee of 49 years, alongside David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough.

This comes after Fletchers Group agreed to sell three acres of brownfield land next to its site in Wadsley Bridge to Sainsbury’s last year so it could reconfigure its plant.

Fletchers Group was devastated by a fire in 2006 which destroyed 40 per cent of the production capacity at its site at Claywheels Lane. But, the business has been turned around by the current management. The company has moved from a 2007-08 operating loss of almost £10m to an operating profit of £600,000 in its last financial year.

Fletchers Group dealt directly with Sainsbury’s on the sale of the land, which has planning permission for a new superstore.

Clegg Food Projects, which provides building and consultancy solutions, was awarded the contract to engineer and install the Stamford facility. Fletchers Group employs 797 people, including 296 in Sheffield. The group recorded a turnover of £93m in its last financial year.