The council have been made aware of the potential plans to construct a single-storey extension onto the current Ashton Green facility, which will provide another 4,000m2 in floor space to the bakery site. Functioning as a sandwich production factory, the site is in need of an expansion to help keep up with current demands for production.
Not only that, but the Bradgate Bakery management are obviously optimistic about the future. The plans include a chill space, a finished goods packing area, and additional production space for ingredients processing – as well as the option for additional future production space, should it be needed.
The exciting addition of 150 new food jobs to this site will come as great news to the ears of industry workers in the area, after the announcement of closures in the Leicester environs. While they may not be available just yet, the hope is that this application will be approved, allowing for more growth of the local industry and encouraging other local businesses to follow suit with other expansion and growth projects.
“The aim is to provide additional production space required by the rapid progressive growth of the business,” read a statement submitted by the company as part of their application for planning permission. “The proposals have been specifically designed to be in keeping with the existing production facility of which they are a direct extension.”
Not only will there be a food recruitment process underway to support the new site, but there will also be some movement of staff. There is a sister site for Bradgate on Madeline Road, which would be the source of some employees relocated to work in the new extension.
A representative from Samworth Brothers said, “This is part of a strategic review to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place for the future requirements of the Bradgate Bakery within Leicester City Council’s Ashton Green development project. There are no immediate plans to extend the site, so it is too early for us to comment on job creation.”
However, word appears to have leaked from within the company as to just how many jobs could be on the table. While it is not confirmed, we can assume that the numbers are developed from a look at the size of the facility, the number of people employed across similar functions in other parts of the business, and accounting for the reported movement of staff between the two sites.
The Ashton Green site in its current capacity opened in 2014. It manufactures both sandwiches and salads, with a large despatch capability and warehouse stores. There are more than 1,500 members of staff employed across the two sites at Ashton Green and Madeline Road.
Samworth Brothers have certainly not been resting on their successes of late. There has been a definite drive to improve the business. Less than a year before announcing this extension and application for planning permission, they unveiled a brand new distribution hub in Leicestershire which cost £12m to build.
Another of their brands, Ginsters, also released new packaging designs last month which are aimed at attracting a younger demographic. The firm wanted to inject some new life into the savoury pastries market, with the potential to bring in new customers who have not regularly shopped in this category before.