End of an era as Pooles Pies closes down

Production at the Pemberton factory is understood to be ending today
Production at the Pemberton factory is understood to be ending today

It is the end of an era as the final Pooles pie is expected to come off the production line in Wigan today.

It is understood the factory on Kilshaw Street, Pemberton, is going to close its doors.

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Pooles Pies, which was bought by Leeds-based Country Style Foods in 2013, was one of the oldest surviving bakery brands to have been in continuous production in the country.

But it is understood that after a 30-day consultation, staff were told on Monday that the site would shut today.

Workers were said to be upset about losing their jobs, especially as it is just weeks until Christmas.

A source told The Post that while some business will move to Country Style’s other sites, meat products will not, bringing an end to the Pooles brand.

It comes just weeks after Country Style Foods closed its food manufacturing plant in Flintshire, with the loss of 68 jobs.

The firm’s website says it has been involved in the flour milling and bakery trades for more than 150 years.

It has sites in Leeds, Grimsby, Stockton and Peterlee.

The Pooles name has been known to Wiganers for 170 years.

Dave Whelan bought it in the late 1980s, transforming the Wigan factory into a state-of-the-art 300,000 sq ft plant that could make up to 100,000 pies and pastries an hour.

The company did have a chain of shops, but they closed 20 years ago so it could concentrate on production.

Its frozen pies went on sale in supermarkets in 2009 in a bid to turn Pooles into a national brand.

Mr Whelan put the company into administration in 2013 and it was bought by Country Style Foods for a reported £2.35m.

The Post made numerous attempts to contact Country Style Foods by phone and email but received no response.

We also visited the factory but was told no-one would speak to our reporter.