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Sweet deal with Marks & Spencer provides boost for McErlain's Bakery

Sixteen new jobs will be created by a family-owned craft bakery in Magherafelt, after winning a contract to supply retail giant Marks & Spencer.

McErlain's Bakery has secured a deal that will see five of its sweet bakery products on the shelves of 38 M&S stores aross Northern Ireland and the Republic.

It is the latest expansion for the 42-year-old company, which has seen it move from a humble bakery in Magherafelt's Church Street, to a purpose-built factory on the Aughrim Road outside the Co Londonderry town.

Brian McErlain said: "We are naturally delighted to have attained M&S supplier status, and are excited by the product launch in M&S stores in May.

"For M&S to have chosen McErlain's bakery as a partner is a major vote of confidence in the skills of our bakers, as well as our company values. The 16 new jobs are a significant boost for the local area at this time and we would hope to grow this number as our relationship with M&S develops. This is indeed a very proud moment in the company's history."

Stewart Nisbet, head of foods for M&S in Ireland, said: "Once again we are pleased to welcome on board another local Northern Ireland supplier to our business.

"McErlain's share brand values similar to those of M&S and enjoy working hard to produce the best tasting product, using the best ingredients. I look forward to working more closely with them in this new partnership."