STAFF at Bolton-based bakers Warburtons are celebrating after raising an incredible £2m for cancer research in just five years.

The family enterprise forged a partnership with Cancer Research UK in 2015 and had initially hoped to collect £300,000 by 2019.

But with contributions from workers at the Variety Bakery, in Britannia Way, and their Hereford Street home, along with their nine other bakeries and 16 depots, that target has been easily surpassed.

A Warburtons spokesman said: “Our people have been passionately raising money through all sorts of initiatives from bake sales and tombolas, sports matches and marathons, to donation stations and payroll giving.

“As part of our Community Programme, Families Matter, we partnered with Cancer Research UK in 2015 with the aim of raising £300,000 over four years to match a donation made by the Warburton family.

“Rising to the challenge, we smashed this target in just two years. The fundraising didn’t stop there, and our people have been organising and taking part in fundraising activities.

“They’ve donated generously and after five years we’ve now raised a whopping £2m.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work and energy that our people have put into raising this incredible amount of money for such a worthy cause.

“Cancer touches so many families, and at Warburtons, family is at the heart of everything we do, so we are delighted to be supporting Cancer Research UK.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “We are enormously grateful to Warburtons employees across the UK who have helped to raise an incredible £2m for Cancer Research UK.

“Your extraordinary contribution has helped us to accelerate progress and save more lives. Together, with your continued support, we will beat cancer. Thank you.

“We look forward to continuing to raise money for this great cause and to help keep families together across the country.”