A LEADING cakes manufacturer - based in Blackburn - has been given a £40million investment shot in the arm for 2019.

BBF, of Sett End Road, has secured financing through Wells Fargo Capital Finance to develop is dessert business, which employs 2,000 people across the UK and Poland.

Last month the bakery, also known as Bright Blue Foods, which makes products for Tesco Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S, Aldi and Lidl, swept the board in a number of Christmas cake taste tests.

Now the outfit is well-placed to expand on its achievements, which in 2018 included the acquisition of the Hull-based Greencore cake and chilled desserts firm.

BBF has two sites in Blackburn, with further bakeries in Bradford and Szczcecin, in north-west Poland.

Jonathan Lill, the company’s chief executive, said: “The facility provided by Wells Fargo gives the business extra firepower to make further investment in all of our manufacturing sites and to deliver on our strategic growth plans.”

Tom Weedall, Wells’ loans origination director, added: “There was significant interest from the finance community for this transaction, and the terms offered and underwritten by our team will now allow the management team at BBF to execute their exciting three-year plan.”

The company, formerly Interlink, has been in the hands of private equity investors Endless since 2015 and has seen group revenues top £150million, on the back of their most recent purchase.

In December two BBF products were named ‘best Christmas cake’ and ‘highly-commended’ in the BBC Good Food awards.

Their top-rated Poinsettia cake was made for Morrisons and the commended entry was their Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Falling Leaves Iced Fruit Cake.