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680 jobs secured as bakery invests £20m

By Ed Elliot, Penistone Reporter Friday 17th January 2014

A £20 million investment by a cake manufacturing company will double its potential output and help secure almost 700 jobs.


Premier Foods has announced plans to build a new production and packing line for Mr Kipling products at its Fish Dam Lane site in Carlton.


The new line will be capable of manufacturing 300 million cake slices each year, doubling the company's current capacity.


Company director Richard Johnson said the investment would protect the roles of the 680 current employees but it was too early to know if any new jobs would be created.


"We can't say that at the moment," Mr Johnson said. "What we're saying is this kind of investment at least secures the number of jobs there.


"As we get nearer that time (completing the installation of the new line) we will be able to say in more detail what the job detail will be."


The new equipment, which should be installed by February next year, will include a mixing station, an oven and sophisticated packing robotics.


It is being introduced to cater for growing demand for the company's snack pack product - individually wrapped cake slices suitable for lunch boxes and eating on the go.


The product is currently made at Premier's factory in Stoke, Staffordshire but that site is at full capacity and not suitable for expansion, resulting in the investment in Barnsley.


Jason Ramsay, factory manager, said: "This investment is a strong vote of confidence by Premier Foods in the Carlton site and the Carlton workforce.


"We have been manufacturing Mr Kipling cakes at Carlton since 1975 and this latest news is a huge boost for all of us."


The number of people employed at the factory, known to many as Manor Bakeries, increases by 300 - to almost 1,000 - in the build up to busy seasonal periods, such as Christmas and Easter.

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