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Steel giant helps bakery to grow slice of exports

A worker is seen on a pontoon near Corus steelmaker, owned by Tata Steel Lrd, rear, in Ijmuiden, Netherlands. Picture: AP

A worker is seen on a pontoon near Corus steelmaker, owned by Tata Steel Lrd, rear, in Ijmuiden, Netherlands. Picture: AP

  • by SCOTT REID
 

BAKERY business Johnstone’s is to take its treats into new markets after securing a six-figure funding package from an unlikely source – steel giant Tata.

The East Kilbride-based firm will seek a higher share of export sales, including to the Far East, having already pushed into a number of overseas markets such as Australia and mainland Europe. It is also investing in additional equipment to keep up with demand for its cake products.

Tata has sunk the £100,000 into the company through its UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) arm – marking its third business investment in Scotland within the past few months.

UKSE, formerly British Steel (Industry), was set up in 1975 by the then British Steel Corporation. It targets expanding businesses in former steel producing areas.

Kevin Moore, who bought Johnstone’s in 2006 and has since grown turnover five-fold after relocating to larger premises, said the firm was looking to double its oven capacity. The financial backing will also help create 20 jobs, taking staff numbers to about 160.

Moore, who is the company’s managing director, said: “UKSE’s confidence in us has given our whole team a huge boost.

“The investment has been fundamental to our expansion drive and we are now able to take our company to the next level with the development of many new products.

“We can look forward to delivering the brand on a wider scale across the UK and internationally.”

Scott Webb, regional executive at UKSE, said: “Kevin has taken Johnstone’s Bakers to new heights and UK Steel Enterprise saw this as an exciting investment opportunity. We can see the huge potential in this company.

“It is always a pleasure to support a Scottish business with such strong international ambitions.”

Johnstone’s supplies own-label ranges for major supermarket and coffee shop chains, and is also developing a new line of products sporting its own name.

 
 
 

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