THE bakery in Upton Upon Severn has re-opened after it was taken over by new owners.

Cooks Bakery on Old Street, which closed last October, has been taken over by Colston Bakeries, a chain which operates several bakeries throughout the area

Gordon Clarke, from Colston Bakeries, who worked in the Upton branch as a 16 year-old said: “I started at the bakery in Upton in 1948 and was there for two or three years, then I went to work in the family business at Hanley Swan before setting up the bakery in Malvern Link.

“We are going to try and run it the way the people of Upton want us to. People want variety and quality so that is what we have to try to give them.

“It is very early days so we cannot say yet whether it has been a success but it has been very well received by the public who wanted the bakery to return.

“So far people seem enthusiastic so the prospects look good but whether that will carry on remains to be seen.”

Mr Clarke, 87, runs Colston Bakeries alongside his three sons: Peter, Jonathan and Phillip.

The bakery had closed after 70 years in business due to reduced footfall and changing shopping habits, with former owner Peter Maiden saying that more local support could have saved it from closure.

At the time, he said: “People need to shop in their towns. I feel sorry for Upton, it’s dying. I hope people wake up and realise what’s happening to this small town.”

When it was announced that Colston Bakeries had taken over the Upton bakery, Jonathan Clarke said: “We have been looking at the site for a while now, we made an approach to Peter for the bakery and did a deal.

“We looked at it and thought that, as a local business, there was no reason we couldn’t make a real good go of it.

“It is a viable business and with our reputation as a local brand we thought we could definitely make a success of running a bakery in Upton.

“There will certainly be staff from the old bakery working there as well as new faces which is great for the community.

“We have had some great feedback from people who are delighted that their bakery is re-opening”

The return of the bakery was welcomed by former Mayor of Upton Peter Webb, who said all towns should have a good local bakery and wished Colston Bakeries the best of luck with running the shop.