A LONG-STANDING Bicester-based bakery business has become the first to snap up a new warehouse being built off Skimmingdish Lane.

British Bakels, which specialises in supplying firms with baking ingredients, has pre-purchased an 80,000sqft unit to expand its current workforce in the town.

It will run alongside the company's operations already based in Granville Way, Bicester, where the company has been since 1995.

The new building will make up a site known as 'Link 9' in the Cherwell local plan – which designated the area to distribution and manufacturing buildings.

Clive Thompson, partner at consultancy Brown & Co in Banbury, acting on behalf of purchasers British Bakels, said: "British Bakels chose Link 9 due to its close proximity to its existing production and warehouse facility and due to excellent communications and improving labour pool offered by Bicester’s expansion.

"The new facility when completed will relieve storage pressure at Granville Way and enable them to re-house storage from rented accommodation in Murdock Road."

Developer of the site, Albion Land, is expected to start construction shortly, with British Bakels set to move in during early summer 2018.

The baking company started life in Bicester after moving from London with only six workers and now has about 200 employees, helping to produce about about 27,000 tonnes of ingredients – the equivalent weight of 156 blue whales – each year.

Agent VSL & Partners director Tom Barton said: “The fact the sale is to such a well-known local employer is a fantastic vote of confidence in this new scheme and also in Bicester as a key growth location for business.

"We look forward to welcoming more companies of this calibre as occupier interest levels are high and the development is set to progress quickly."

Albion Land director Simon Parsons said: “We are delighted to get Link 9 off to a flying start by signing this important deal with a significant employer, British Bakels.

"Occupier enquiry levels are strong and this has given us the comfort to go ahead with the development of seven speculative units which will form the second phase of the project."

British Bakels said that 40,000sq ft of surplus space will be let out by Brown & Co initially, allowing for further future expansion.