Expansion a piece of cake for Ashington company

BakeArt factory manager Linda Lisle, left, and managing director Malcolm Hemmings with, centre, Lee Farrier, Arch's head of estates.
BakeArt factory manager Linda Lisle, left, and managing director Malcolm Hemmings with, centre, Lee Farrier, Arch's head of estates.

Expansion has proved to be a piece of cake for an Ashington company.

Cake decoration maker BakeArt UK has expanded into new premises in the town to enable it to cope with fast-growing demand for its products and target new markets overseas.

The firm, based at Merchant Court, off Hedley way in North Seaton, has invested £150,000 in leasing and kitting out two new units to allow it to increase production of cake decorations for retailers including Tesco, Marks and Spencer and several high-street bakery chains.

The company, launched in 2010 by business partners Malcolm Hemmings and Tony Wadley, now employs 25 staff.

It was given a helping hand to put its expansion plans into action by Arch, Northumberland County Council’s arm’s-length development company.

BakeArt managing director Mr Wadley said: “When we launched, our client base was mainly in the UK, but we’re now selling into Ireland and France, with plans to export across Europe from 2016.

“A major benefit of working with the commercial team at Arch is its speed and flexibility. It quickly assessed and understood the needs of the business.”

The new units have increased BakeArt’s manufacturing capacity, storage and office space.

Arch group chairman Dave Ledger, also deputy leader of the county council and ward councillor for Choppington, said: “Arch has a clear economic focus designed to bring a fresh, more enterprising and business-like approach to development and regeneration in the county.

“We are proud to work with ambitious local companies like BakeArt. It is a perfect example of a young company which really hit the ground running.”

Arch was set up by the council in 2011 as a private-sector operation to encourage capital economic development, physical regeneration projects and business growth across the county.

BakeArt UK turns out cake decorations including sugarpaste plaques, printed wafers, sugar sprinkles, coloured sugar, shimmer sugar, printed chocolates and plastic rings to suit all sizes of bakery products from cupcakes up to celebration cakes using natural colours and flavourings.