Greggs opening new �1m regional micro bakery in Norwich
Baking giant Greggs has kick-started its expansion plans in East Anglia with a �1m investment in a regional bakery in Norwich.
The hub – known as a 'micro bakery' – is set to open in the former Uniglaze building on City Trading Estate in Barker Street at the end of June to supply freshly-baked food to Greggs' shops in Norfolk and the surrounding area.
An extra four Greggs shops are planned in the region by the end of the year, which could create 150 new jobs, although the company would not disclose the locations.
The company currently has 10 stores in Norfolk, including four in Norwich, and one each in Beccles, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds. The news comes as the government announced a U-turn on the so-called 'pasty tax'.
Greggs was one of the most vocal opponents to the plans laid out in the chancellor's Budget to close the VAT loopholes and charge for hot food.
A spokesman for Greggs said Norwich had been chosen as the location for the new bakery because the company believed there were opportunities for more shops across East Anglia.
He said: 'This area is quite remote from our nearest regional bakery, so we needed a way of supplying freshly-baked food in that locality. We are very keen to expand in East Anglia and see opportunities to bring Greggs to new locations.'
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Currently the nearest Greggs micro bakery is in Enfield, north London, and baking is currently done on-site in the Norfolk shops.
The City Trading Estate unit is owned by Local Authority Mutual Investment Trust – a body which allows local councils to collectively invest in property and is managed by Brown & Co's Norwich office.
Chartered surveyor at the Norwich office Andrew Haigh said the trust had spent up to �90,000 refurbishing the unit.
'They completely refurbished the offices to make the property occupiable.'
He added that landlords in the commercial property market were having to spend money refurbishing properties to achieve the rents that had been seen in the past and that landlords who could afford to refurbish properties were having more success renting them out.
'It is certainly a boost for the city and a boost to employment within the city,' he said.