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Jones Village Bakery production line

Jones Village Bakery is installing a new £16m production line that will create 100 jobs at its 140,000 sq ft Wrexham plant.

According to the company, it will be the most advanced production line in the world, and is expected to be up and running in July.

The 85m long line has been configured to the company’s bespoke specifications, with most of the equipment coming from a specialist Dutch supplier. The procurement and installation are being handled by Jones Village Bakery projects director Christien Jones, who said it was the “perfect marriage” between the latest technology and traditional craft baking skills.

“Essentially, this is a craft bakery line on a larger scale, so we still have the influence of the craft master baker, but we have taken away the mundane jobs like the lifting and the carrying,” Jones said. “We’ve put a lot of elements together to make the total line, which is very special, but it’s all about the bread and actually it’s all about slowing bread production down.

The bread-making process, including fermentation all the way through to proofing and our baking, can take up to 38 hours to make one loaf, Jones said.

“It’s a fantastic combination – an automated version of an artisan bakery with the bread being baked on a bed of Italian marble that’s an inch thick. The room is air conditioned with the oven being in a separate room so there is no temperature migration,” Jones added.

The company is looking to take on 50 staff now and a further 50 next year when a second shift is expected to swing into action. Training will be provided by the firm’s in-house baking academy.

“For the right people, there are excellent career prospects at the Village Bakery – most of our managers and supervisors are homegrown,” said managing director Robin Jones. “It would be a bonus if applicants have experience working in a bakery, but the fundamental requirement is finding people with the right attitude because we can teach them the skills needed to become a first-class baker.

“This is also an exciting time to join our successful team and help us make these amazing products,” the MD added. “We’re so proud because this is a multi-million-pound, world-class facility and the products that we make with it will change the face of bread making in the UK.”