Michael Harte

One of the region’s fastest growing food companies is set to create up to 20 new jobs as part of a strategic expansion plan at its Telford base.

Bridge Cheese is adding an extra 9,000 sq ft onto its food processing site in Stafford Park as part of a growth plan which will also see it introducing another production line to meet growing customer demand for its cheese and dairy products.

Managing director Michael Harte said the decision to expand in Telford followed a strong year of sales. Bridge Cheese supplies cheese for pizza and take-away products, which rocketed in popularity during the pandemic while restaurants and pubs were closed.

Mr Harte said: “Last year was a year that no-one saw coming but it was a defining moment for the takeaway food industry in particular, and the huge demand for pizza was a big plus for Bridge Cheese, as it’s one of our key markets. But it’s not been the only driver in our success over the past 12 months.

“Our clients in the food manufacturing sector fared very well throughout Covid and as our customers in the food service sector open their doors fully again and we head towards a wider economic recovery, we are expecting things to shift up a gear again.

“With the new line going in and a rapidly expanding team in place, we will continue to stay agile and react quickly to market demands and this will help us to ride the trends, whatever they may be next!

“We’ve also invested in product research and development over the last year, with a new exciting launch planned for early next year, so it’s a really exciting period for us as a company.”

A key part of Bridge Cheese’s growth plan is the creation of up to 20 new roles over the next 12 months, including apprenticeships, production and office-based staff, with applications now open for a number of jobs including line and manufacturing operators plus quality assurance and quality control roles.

“We’re really excited about the expansion here in Telford, but to make the plans flourish, we need good people to come and join the team. As well as general line operators in the processing facility and skilled manufacturing operators, we are looking for quality control and assurance team members to ensure we continue to meet the high expectations of our customers,” added Michael.

“We’ve faced challenges over the last year with Covid, like everyone else, but we have still been able to provide our staff with job stability through a turbulent year and we are now in a position to increase our workforce, and we are very proud of that.”

Bridge Cheese was started in 2018 by Mr Harte and an experienced senior team with more than 80 years of collective experience in the food industry. The company offers a wide range of cheese and dairy products to food manufacturers and food service clients, wholesalers and for export. This includes cheddars, hard cheeses and mozzarella products as well as bespoke cheese and dairy solutions for food production.