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krustie allslop

Firkin Jobs Facing Axe

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Express and Star - Wolverhampton; 11 January

More than 400 jobs were at risk today after historic Black Country bakery Firkin was put into administration.

More than 400 jobs were at risk today after historic Black Country bakery Firkin was put into administration.

M. Firkin Ltd runs 53 shops across the region as well as its bakery in West Bromwich but on Tuesday Kim Rayment and Dermot Power, of restructuring experts BDO Stoy Hayward, were appointed as administrators.

Strong competition in the bakery market from superstores and out-of-town shopping centres have been blamed for the downturn in fortunes for the 136-year-old family firm.

The move casts doubt over the future of 443 members of staff as their company is offered for sale.

It is the second blow for the firm in less than six months as, last October, the Black Lake bakery was shut down because of an infestation of mice.

Shops were left with empty shelves when Sandwell's environmental health officers forced the temporary closure for a week. The company is due to appear in court next week in connection with the infestation.

Mrs Rayment, said: "M. Firkin Ltd has suffered from strong competition in the bakery market in recent years and has sought the protection of an Administration Order.

"We are in the process of carrying out a comprehensive review of the business but we will continue to trade M. Firkin Ltd with a view to achieving a going concern sale within weeks."

The business was founded by Mary Firkin in 1870, making and wholesaling gold medal-winning pork pies in Carters Green.

It began making confectionery in 1954 and moved production to its current bakery at Black Lake, West Bromwich, in 1958.

In 1982, with the founder's great grandson Martyn Cavill as chairman, the company took over the town's other bakery, Robinsons.

The 50th shop opened in 1994 in Kingstanding at a time when turnover had reached £8.5 million.

The company was then producing 80,000 jam, custard and apple doughnuts,40,000 freshly cut sandwiches and 30,000 egg custards a week.

The bakery gets through 2.5 tonnes of eggs, 20 tonnes of flour and 722 gallons of cream every week supplying cake shops around the region in Wolverhampton, Codsall, Walsall, Sedgley, Dudley, Stourbridge and Birmingham.

By 1998, Firkins was listed as the fourth biggest independent bakery in the country.

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Given these are the the type of jobs where you are poorly paid, from the point of a houseing market site what news do you bring?

1. The point that they were the original fast food suppliers for industry and their office workers. There is less and less industry. Its all gone East.

2. They may be homeowners.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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