New jobs as £20m. bakery opens in Burnley

Warbutons executive director Brett Warburton and Alan Beardsworth cut the ribbon to open the new building.
Warbutons executive director Brett Warburton and Alan Beardsworth cut the ribbon to open the new building.

Baking giant Warburtons is the toast of Burnley after opening a new £20m. bakery in the town.

The plant, which has been built next to the existing bakery in Billington Road, will produce the firm’s growing range of sandwich alternatives such as wraps and thins.

Approximately 34 new jobs have been created through the new site – taking the overall workforce to 250 – with potential for a further 30.

Opening the bakery, executive director Brett Warburton told staff and guests that Burnley had played a big part in the history of the company and would continue to do so in the future.

“After many months of hard work we are now up and running with a fantastic new line that we are all very proud of,” he said. “This Burnley bakery has played an integral part in the business’ success over the last 30 years and this is the latest decision to invest in the future of the business.”

The Burnley bakery was Warburtons’ third when it opened in 1981. There are now 12 bakeries and 14 depots across the country but fellow executive director, Ross Warburton, told the Express that Burnley was still held a very special place in the heart of Warburtons.

Burnley is still a special place for us. This is one of our core sites in the north and will continue to be

Ross Warburton

“It was our father’s decision to come here when there were new industrial buildings being built and we were looking for a bakery that could be dedicated to providing just one type of loaf.

“We needed somewhere that was close to our heartland and in the 1980s this was about the newest industrial park you could find and so we built a very state of the art bakery.

“What we have got now is that Burnley has morphed from a single plant dedicated to one product into a site that probably has a greater variety of plants than any other in our business.”

With sales of sliced bread declining, Warburtons has had to diversify, and was this year ranked by The Grocer as the second biggest grocery brand in the UK, only beaten by Coca-Cola.

“It has been the story of the last five – 10 years of our business,” sad Ross. “Large white bread, which is what this site was originally built for, people are consuming less of this now. The good news is they are consuming more products like thins which why Bunrley now has the capacity to produce 34,000 thins and wraps per hour.

“Burnley is still a special place for us. This is one of our core sites in the north and will continue to be.”