Baker Bayne's set to reopen Fords shops

BAKERY group Bayne's is expanding by reopening a clutch of shops run by its former rival Fords Bakers.

The Fife-based company, which employs about 400 staff, is opening five shops to take its total to 48 in central Scotland.

The stores, two in Musselburgh and one each in Prestonpans, Portobello and Currie, are all in units formerly occupied by Fords outlets. Fords went into administration last year and although its bakery business was sold to Glasgow firm Scullions in a deal that saved 87 jobs, the retail arm and its nine shops were closed.

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Stanley Bayne, Bayne's the Bakers managing director, said: "This is a significant strategic expansion for the business. Our team has been working hard over the last few years to develop the retail offering and we are looking forward to introducing Bayne's to the Lothians."

Most of the staff employed in the Bayne's outlets will be former Ford's employees.

At the time of the Fords acquisition by Scullions, a subsidiary of the McGhee Group which employs 220 people at its site in Glasgow, the company said the acquisition fitted its expansion plans in Scotland. Fords supplies supermarkets, food service companies and independent bakeries in east and central Scotland.

Last month rival RT Stuart, one of Scotland's biggest bakery and butchery businesses, announced it had agreed a 1 million funding deal for expansion of its wholesale capacity and to widen its geographic reach.

The firm currently employs about 180 staff across its retail outlets and production facility in Methil. Founded in 1857 it runs 16 stores across the kingdom. To date, it has ploughed most of its efforts into supplying consumers directly from its high street shops.

RT Stuart generated a turnover of about 4m in the 2010-11 financial year.