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Bun in hand for Fletchers Bakeries with multi-million pound land sale20th May 2012

Fletchers Group of Bakeries has completed a multi-million pound land sale, paving the way for a raft of improvements and future growth for the iconic Sheffield based company.

The deal, to sell three acres of brownfield land adjacent to its site in Wadsley Bridge to Sainsbury's, will enable the company to reconfigure its plant, move existing production lines to create a new production and despatch facility and a new, surfaced car parking area at the site among other improvements.

Fletchers Group, which has seen a dramatic change of fortunes since a new management team brought in during 2007 helped turnaround the 117-year-old business, dealt directly with Sainsburys on the sale of the land, which has planning permission for a new superstore serving the North of Sheffield.

Stephen Holding, managing director of the Fletchers Group of Bakeries, said: "The completion of the land sale at Claywheels Lane will provide a cash injection, which is earmarked for a significant upgrade to the site and will pave the way for business growth.

"Fletchers Group will re-invest proceeds from the land sale directly into its Sheffield operations, helping to provide consistent employment for more than 350 staff and facilitate improved technical standards and production efficiencies, which are crucial in the demanding food manufacturing environment."

Fletchers Group was devastated by a fire in 2006, which destroyed 40% of the production capacity at Claywheels Lane and has seen its business revitalised under the current management, moving from a 2007-08 operating loss of almost £10m to an operating profit of nearly £0.5m this financial year.

Holding said: "The project to invest the land-sale funds has started almost immediately and will take approximately 12 months to restructure the plant, modify existing buildings, landscape the grounds and surface a brand new car parking area."

The company invested more than £3m last year, including a new plant at its Sheffield site to make English muffins, a significant growth area.

Tags: LandMidlands

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