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The Great Cornish Bake Off? Greggs faces battle with local pasty makers as it eyes Cornwall expansion | UK News

Greggs says it wants to open new stores in Cornwall and the South West of England – in a move that could put the bakery chain toe-to-toe with traditional Cornish pasty makers.

The company’s boss, Roisin Currie, says the company is on track to open 150 new shops nationwide this year – and could open even more if the right sites become available.

She says the company is particularly interested in new sites in Cornwall and other areas of the South West of England.

Julie Martin from Pengenna Pasties prepares their version of a Cornish pasty in their bakery in Bude on September 9 2008 in Cornwall, England
File pic

It is set to open its fourth shop in Cornwall, at a business park in Saltash, today.

But Greggs – founded in Tyneside in 1939 and famed for its sausage rolls and steak bakes – will face a competitive grab-and-go market in the county, where the Cornish pasty has been a staple for hundreds of years.

“The opening strategy is going to plan and the new location in Cornwall is a key part of that,” Ms Currie said.

“Obviously we are a brand that started from the North and the natural growth of the business from there means there are some parts of the country, such as in Cornwall and the South West, where we see more scope to open sites.”

Greggs currently operates around 2,300 shops across the UK – and hopes to expand to more than 3,000 as part of its long-term growth strategy.

A number of new sites in the company’s growth plan target tourists and motorists, with openings at forecourts and service stations.

Read more:
Greggs plans to open new stores despite elevated pay and energy costs
Greggs wins battle to sell late-night sausage rolls in Leicester Square

In May, the bakery chain revealed in May that sales surged by nearly a fifth over the start of 2023 – despite the cost-of-living crisis.

It said its cheap meals remained “compelling” to cash-strapped consumers.

“We’re looking very positively towards the summer and hopefully this warm weather will mean more people out and about, and ultimately looking for somewhere to eat,” Ms Currie said.

The Great British Bake Off: Matt Lucas ‘passing the baguette’ on to someone else as he leaves TV show | Ents & Arts News

Matt Lucas has said he is “passing the baguette on to someone else” as he announced his departure from The Great British Bake Off.

He said it had been a “delicious experience” and could not imagine a “more fun way” of spending his summers.

The comedian, 48, has hosted the TV show with Noel Fielding for three series, but said he is struggling to fit it in alongside other projects.

He has a new role on revived comedy show Fantasy Football League.

“Farewell Bake Off!” he wrote on Instagram, adding: “It’s become clear to me that I can’t present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects.

“So, after three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else.”

Lucas lavished praise on his fellow on-screen stars including “Noelipops” (Fielding), and judges Dame Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

“I would like to give my warmest thanks and gratitude to everyone (including) the crew and, of course, the wonderful bakers for welcoming me into the tent,” he said.

Co-host Fielding said he would miss Lucas’s “spark” but added: “Totally respect your decision Matt!”

Hollywood said Lucas had been “awesome” while Dame Prue said she had “absolutely loved working” with him.