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Jobs to go as Greggs shuts bakery.

Byline: By Graeme King

Up to 50 jobs are set to go at North-East-based Greggs with plans revealed yesterday to close a Tyneside bakery.

The company, which runs 1,250 bakery shops and cafes across the UK, is to close the 50-year-old Carricks Bakery in Cowgate, Newcastle.

At least 55 of the 105 staff there will be retained in other parts of the Greggs business, and the company said yesterday it hoped to find jobs for more.

The Carricks site, on Druridge Drive, Cowgate, is scheduled to close in 12 months when its work for Greggs's Bakers Oven chain will transfer to other facilities in Newcastle.

The company has bakeries in Gosforth and at Balliol Business Park in Longbenton and is planning to build a pounds 2m distribution centre, though this will replace existing facilities and will not require any new recruitment.

Greggs is also to build a new bakery to produce savoury products, creating dozens of jobs, but has not yet decided whether this will be in Newcastle or in the South.

Greggs employs 3,000 people in the North-East, including 220 in Gosforth and 200 in Longbenton. The company made pre-tax profits of pounds 13.6m in the six months to June 30, up 10.6pc on turnover of pounds 216.2m, up 7.5pc from 2003. The company is in the midst of adding 30 shops to its empire.

Greggs managing director Sir Mike Darrington said yesterday: "We are hoping that some of these 50 job losses will be absorbed by natural wastage and people finding other employment.

"As a business we are growing. We are running out of capacity at the Longbenton bakery and in the next 18 months we are set to expand savoury production.

"The heart of the business is in the North-East and we are looking at whether a new facility for savoury production will be built here or in the South due to expanding sales there."

A Greggs spokesman said the closure of the Carricks Bakery was necessary to make efficiency savings. He said it was not possible to update or expand the building in a residential area.

Consultation on the proposals will commence immediately and affected employees will be given priority for vacancies.

Greggs shares rose 1.56pc yesterday, ending at 3575p, up 55p.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2004
Words:383
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