Bakery chain moves into Lancashire with new spot in Longton

Leigh-based bakery chain Waterfields are preparing to open a new shop in Longton.

The family-run company already has 36 shops, but this will be their most northerly operation. Others are concentrated in the Greater Manchester and Merseyside areas.

They hope to create six new jobs when they open in mid-March in the former dry cleaners unit in Church Row Chambers.

"We're thinking more locally and want to be part of local communities", said spokesman Chris Waterfield.

The former dry cleaners will be turned into a bakery

"We were aware of Longton because we supply Booths with our products, and there is a Booths shop in Longton. For us it ticks a lot of boxes."

The chain makes everything in-house in Leigh, with deliveries of fresh products to shops daily. In store there will be facilities to bake chilled and frozen pies, and prepare sandwiches.

Booths customers will already be familiar with their products as Waterfields produce many of the unwrapped bread items and boxed cakes on sale in the supermarket's stores.

Mr Waterfield said as well as savory and sweet items, there will also be a fresh coffee machine available in the shop.

Six new jobs will be created

He added: "In the past few years we've been diversifying our offering in order to keep market share - there's so much competition out there. But as well as things like ciabatta pizza slices, we will have a traditional offering too. You will definitely be able to get a pie in one of our shops."

News of the bakery chain moving into the village comes as well-known local bakery, The Croft Bakery is put up for sale due to the retirement of its owners, who have operated the business since the 1980s.