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30 April 2016, 09:30
Kate's Cakes is closing its two factories in Ashington, West Sussex, and Esher.
The baking giant, CSM, which owns Kate's Cakes for £32 million says it is re-organising its UK business
The company has announced its two plants in Surrey and Sussex will close by the end of 2017. It is upgrading its operations in Bradford and Daventry.
CSM's president and CEO, Robert Sharpe said: "These actions will enhance our overall productivity, capabilities and capacity to allow us to profitably grow the business in the years ahead.
We have a great passion to deliver industry-leading solutions to our customers, and these actions enhance our ability to do so. Our customers' growth and success will be our growth and success."
The company supplies customers like Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and the House of Commons tea-room with a range of flapjacks and brownies.
CSM is beginning a 90-day consultation with staff and says it hopes to offer alternative jobs in the UK but that would mean staff moving away from Sussex and Surrey.
400 staff work at Kate's Cakes at Ashington near the A24 Washington roundabout with a further 120 employed at the factory in Esher.
The company revealed the closures in letters to their staff earlier this week. It said: "We want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts and contributions all employees have made to the business and we realise this announcement creates uncertainty for you and your family.
“We would greatly appreciate your support in helping ensure the smooth running of the factories.”
Colin Lloyd and Kate Cherkoff started their cake business from a one-bedroom flat in Clapham in 1989. They sold Kate's Cakes to multi-national baking giants CSM for £32 million in 2007.