Rising costs force town bakery to shut up shop

A WELL-KNOWN Weston bakery which opened in the same year that England won the World Cup has closed.

Astill and Sons Bakery, in West Street, had been trading since 1966, but the business, which has been passed through three generations of the Astill family, has had to close due to spiralling costs and the tough competition posed by national chains.

The move, which brings to an end the family’s long history of baking in the town centre, means that all 11 employees have been made redundant. Previously, Astill and Sons also ran an outlet in the Sovereign Shopping Centre.

The Astill bakery in Worle High Street will remain open.

The business, which was started by Ken and Vera Astill in 1966, has passed down through their children David and Michael to grandsons Oliver and Russell.

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Russell, who has been working at the bakery since he was 16, said: “Over the last few years it has become more expensive to run a local business like we have. Fuel has gone up, the price of flour has just gone up again, costs have spiralled, and we’ve had to put up our prices.

“What’s been going on along the seafront has also definitely had an impact on the shops too.

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“We’ve got some incredibly loyal members of staff, some of whom have been with us for 25 years, that we’ll have to let go.

“I want to say a very big thank you to all the customers who have supported us down the years, and the local suppliers that we have enjoyed working with.

“It was always our ethos to be local and I think it’s a sad day for our customers who will have to find somewhere else to get their locally-made produce.”

Tim Ball, partner at chartered accountants Mazars, which is handling the company’s liquidation, said: “It’s very sad that the business has had to come to a close.

“The company is going into liquidation, and there will be a meeting of its creditors on February 18.

“This is obviously a very grim time for all involved, from the directors to the employees, and the creditors.”

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