BAKERY STAFF IN THE DARK OVER JOBS

THE fate of crisis-hit Scarborough bakers Woodhead is to be revealed within days.

Administrators, called in to take over the family-run firm last Wednesday, now say that workers will know their fate tomorrow – or by Monday at the latest.

They have been working for the past week to try to find a buyer for the company, which has been operating in Scarborough for 74 years.

Newcastle-based Greggs and Scarborough bakers Cooplands were both linked to the firm or parts of it, though administrators remained tight-lipped about any takeover talks.

Speaking exclusively to the Evening News yesterday, a spokeswoman for Northern Lights PR, acting on behalf of administrators P&A Partnership, said: “All we can say at this time is an announcement will be made by Monday.

“It could be tomorrow, but will definitely be by Monday.”

Scarborough was left in shock last week when the news broke of the firm’s demise with the immediate loss of 30 jobs.

The redundancies were based at the firm’s Scarborough factory in Beaconsfield Street, which supplies 30 Woodhead shops in the North, including eight in Scarborough.

The remaining 280 staff have continued to work over the past nine days while administrators tried to line up a takeover.

However, signs of the cracks have started to show, especially at Proudfoot supermarkets across the town, which Woodhead has supplied for more than 30 years.

Deliveries to Proudfoots have got lighter each day with products being dropped including some meat pies, as well as scones, cream cakes and other cakes.

Joint managing director Ian Proudfoot said: “The Proudfoot Group is disappointed to see the demise of a great family company.

“I have known the Woodhead family most of my life as the business grew in a similar era to when Wilf Proudfoot started his food retail business.

“We had an annual turnover with Woodhead of around £170,000, which came from long standing customers who very much appreciated their products.

“Since last week sales are starting to reduce as the administrators appear to have taken the decision to reduce the product range. Every day there seems to be a new product taken off which doesn’t arrive.

“Lets hope all things get turned around and the business is bought out and resumes the manufacturing of its products.

“I have known the family for years. They are the best of people and it is a shame the these unfortunate circumstances have affected such a great family. I know I can speak for a lot of people when I say that.”

Woodhead the Bakers was founded by Harold Woodhead and his brother George in 1937 at premises in Newlands Park Drive, with the company’s first offering being delivered on the back of a tricycle.

The firm grew over the decades to include a headquarters and factory in Beaconsfield Street, and 30 shops which can be found in Scarborough, York, Hull, Beverley, Malton and more. The company also supplies national supermarket chain Morrisons.

Last week administrators said rises in wheat prices and tough conditions on the high street were to blame for the demise of Woodhead.