Bakery wars as new firm opens in Scarborough

The new bakery giant Greggs set to replace the Woodhead store in the Brunswick
The new bakery giant Greggs set to replace the Woodhead store in the Brunswick

Newcastle-based bakers Greggs has announced it is opening a shop in the Brunswick Shopping Centre.

The shop will open on Friday, bringing with it a jobs boost as nine positions are created. Its arrival will bring new competition for local bakers Cooplands, Hardies and Thomas the Baker.

Brunswick exterior.114720a  Picture Richard Ponter.

Brunswick exterior.114720a Picture Richard Ponter.

Speaking about the move a spokesperson for Greggs said: “We are delighted to confirm we will be opening. We have been keen to open in Scarborough for some time, following requests for us to locate here and previously not having any shops in Scarborough.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming new customers into our shop.”

Jim Hughes, Brunswick Centre manager welcomed the new store, saying: “Greggs will be a great addition to the centre.

“We have customers from far and wide, and one of the first things they always ask is is there a Greggs.

“Now we can not only say yes, but tell them its right here in the centre.”

Greggs has been linked to a move to Scarborough ever since the demise of Woodhead, and was rumoured to be taking over the Brunswick Centre unit last month.

At the time the company told the Evening News: “We have wanted to bring Greggs to Scarborough for some time. However we have not secured a suitable unit as yet.”

Along with bringing the business to Scarborough Greggs is also planning on introducing its Breakfast Club to the town.

The Greggs spokesperson added; “We are also looking to open one of our Greggs Breakfast Clubs at a local primary school, which will provide the children with a free, nutritious breakfast as a great start to their day, as part of our commitment to making a difference in local communities in which we trade.”

The industry has faced a challenging 2011, starting with Scarborough firm Woodhead the Bakers going in to administration in March.

Thirty jobs were lost, with the remainder of the business split in two and sold to fellow Scarborough bakers Cooplands, and Midlands based Bakery Products Ltd.

Cooplands took a total of 18 stores from its former rival Woodhead, however it has since closed three out of the five based in Scarborough.

One of those to be taken over by Cooplands and then shut is the Brunswick Centre unit which will now house Greggs.

No-one from Cooplands has been available to comment about the reasons behind the shop closures, or what happened to the staff who worked there.

The business, based in Eastfield’s Pindar Business Park, became the third largest UK retail baker after taking over the Woodhead shops, owning a total of 111 stores and nine cafes.

The Brunswick Centre shop was the third former Woodheads to be closed by Cooplands following in the footsteps of shops in Newlands Park Drive and Falsgrave Road.

When Woodhead went into administration it owned 29 stores across Yorkshire and a bakery in Beaconsfield Street, Scarborough.

Following the immediate job losses the remaining 280 staff were all transferred as part of the two takeover deals.

Cooplands bought 18 stores while Bakery Products Ltd took over the remaining 11 and the Beaconsfield Street Bakery.

Bakery Products Ltd, based in the Midlands, was set up specifically to develop the acquisition of Woodhead. All its shops are still trading under the Woodhead name.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Haldane Retail Group, which is a supermarket business set up in 2009 by Scarborough-born entrepreneur Arthur Harris.