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A major expansion at Winning Blend’s Llantrisant bakery has exceeded its job creation target, increased turnover to £18m and enabled it to launch 22 new products.

First published:
6 June 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Winning Blend, which trades under The Welsh Pantry brand, was supported by £340,000 from the Wales Economic Growth Fund to create 34 jobs and safeguard a further 10 jobs. The company exceeded its targets and created 55 jobs, bringing the headcount to 156

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates visited the Llantrisant site today to see at first hand how the £1.1m investment in advanced manufacturing equipment in the bakery and packaging facility is benefiting the business and creating jobs.

During a tour of the facility he heard that it has already  increased throughput, reduced waste, improved efficiencies and quality and increased the competitiveness of the business.

Mr Skates said: 

“It’s excellent news and I am delighted  support from the Welsh Government has helped the company expand its facility in Wales, broaden its capabilities  and create a significant number of news jobs.

“The company’s investment and success also has a significant wider impact on the economy as Welsh Pantry’s policy of buying locally whenever possible, means it regularly purchases from more than 100 local businesses and last year spent in excess of £3.2m with its local supply chain.”

Group Finance Director Mark Sommers said: 

“The investment has helped us retain existing business and win new business from existing customers, along with launching new products into a new customer. It has also enabled us to launch 22 new products which have been very well received.”

“Support from the Welsh Government was pivotal in enabling us to expand when we need to as these opportunities could have been lost.”

Mark Sommers said that in the twelve months to January 2016 turnover increased to £18m with a forecast growth of a further £2m in the year ahead.

He added: 

“This increase is on the back of a period of unprecedented growth – manufactured turnover in the year to January 2012 amounted to just £3.8m – representing a compound growth rate of 48% over a four year period.”

The bakery operates three shifts, 5 days a week and manufactures 64 different products, producing around 95 million items a year.

The business specialises in producing savoury products as well as some ready meals and has its own development kitchen to test and produce innovative new recipes.

Its own brand The Welsh Pantry label is sold in Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco, with own label brands for national multiples including Iceland, Asda, Aldi and Lidl. 

It is Winning Blend’s second successful funding round from the Economic Growth Fund – in 2013 it was awarded £300,000 which created 34 new jobs and led to significant new own label business predominantly from Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.