BOLTON family bakery Warburtons is shedding more than 50 jobs at its Blackpool factory.

Workers at the Fylde coast factory were officially told 55 of them will lose their jobs this week after the firm made the “difficult decision” to cease production at the site.

The company has confirmed a further 16 workers have found alternative jobs or will be re-deployed by Warburtons when the factory shuts on January 31, while two have taken early retirement.

Geoff Atkinson, from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, said: “The workers were expecting the worst and the worst came.”

Jonathan Warburton, company chairman and chief executive, said the last year had been “particularly challenging”.

He added: “Closing a bakery is the hardest decision our family business has to make.

“The last year has been particularly challenging due to a number of changeable factors, including further pressure on household budgets and an increasingly competitive market. ”

Production at the factory will stop a week before it officially closes, on January 25.