Cooplands' CEO Belinda Youngs

Belinda Youngs was appointed as Cooplands CEO in December

Northern bakery chain Cooplands has secured a further £7.7m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Three years after the BGF’s initial £8.5m investment, the business has expanded to more than 165 stores, 12 cafes and 36 sandwich vans across its heartlands in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the north east.

Cooplands has opened seven new stores since March 2020 and plans to roll-out an additional 30 a year in locations, with expansion touted outside its current geographical footprint.

Belinda Youngs, who was appointed as CEO in December, said the new investment from BGF would allow Cooplands to build on the strong progress already made.

“This year we’ve continued to open stores, create jobs and develop new products,” she added. “Just this month, we’ve opened a new shop in Lincoln which created eight new jobs for the city and launched a new cheese bake to meet consumer demand.”

The Coopland family will remain minority shareholders of the business, with MD Paul Coopland continuing to support the business in a non-executive capacity.

“Even for a 135-year-old business, trading through this year has been unlike any other,” Paul Coopland said.

“The company’s resilience is testament to the quality of our products, the strength of our capable management team and the 1,650 brilliant people they lead to serve our customers in their own communities. As we move into 2021, I look forward to the company realising the next stage of its growth ambitions.”

Youngs added: “Like most businesses, we’ve established new ways of working this year and we’ve also found areas for innovation, including the launch of our online ordering platform and Cooplands recipes and products which allow customers to recreate our most popular bakes at home.”

In 2019, Cooplands was one of the first high street bakery chains to sell 100% vegan bread and rolls, made with no animal fats, dairy, eggs or honey.

BGF investor Barry Jackson said: “Under Belinda’s leadership, Cooplands is a perfect example of a Yorkshire company which continues to strive for industry-leading innovation and quality which in turn, drives expansion and job creation across the region.”