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McErlain's Bakery announces 40 jobs after avoiding insolvency

By Stewart Robson ·

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From left, Brian McErlain of Genesis Crafty, M&S head of region in NI Ryan Lemon, and JP Lyttle, also of Genesis Crafty

McErlain's Bakery, the Co Londonderry firm rescued from insolvency under two weeks ago, is set to create 40 new jobs.

After a last-minute intervention from the boss of crisp maker Tayto, 260 jobs were saved at the Magherafelt-based business last month. Now it has announced 40 new positions.

The company had been sold to Paul Allen, the managing director Tayto, just as it was put into administration by business advisers EY after suffering trading difficulties.

The bakery produces products including breads, buns and cakes for UK supermarkets as well as for the Genesis Crafty range. Last year, it announced an extension to its existing contract with Marks & Spencer.

Some of the new jobs offer an immediate start, the company said. Grace Cahoon, human resources manager, said the jobs on offer would suit a wide range of people. "It is great to be looking for new staff to join us in this latest phase of the company's development," she added.

"We have a wide range of posts, from full-time permanent jobs to part-time temporary posts, which might suit students or those looking for extra money in the run-up to Christmas."

Last month, McErlain's new owner said he was pleased to secure the jobs of those who worked in the factory. "I'm delighted that the jobs at the factory have been secured and that Brian McErlain will be staying on as managing director," added Paul Allen.

Brian McErlain is the son of founding owners Joe and Roberta.

Despite speaking of his sadness at seeing the business change hands and dealing with "mixed emotions", Mr McErlain said he could now look forward to the future.

"Paul Allen's ability is very well respected in the business community, not just in Northern Ireland but further afield, and I believe that his involvement will be a real benefit to the company," he said.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, said many of its members had supported Genesis Crafty in the early years of its growth.

The bakery's debts to suppliers were wiped out as part of the pre-pack administration deal between Mr Allen's new company, Hatch Bros, and EY.

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From left, Brian McErlain of Genesis Crafty, M&S head of region in NI Ryan Lemon, and JP Lyttle, also of Genesis Crafty