Mayor welcomes opening of life-changing bakery

Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke has welcomed the opening of the Brickyard Bakery which will provide both great tasting affordable bread and life-changing opportunities.

The not-for-profit bakery in the town’s Dundas Shopping Centre is offering year-long paid internships to six young people more suited to hands-on work than study.

“It’s aimed at those who don’t do well sitting behind desks and learning in conventional ways,” said the Brickyard Bakery founder Ed Hamilton-Trewhitt.

“It’s specifically designed to be supportive and encouraging and gives them that 12 months of real work experience.  That means they will feel a little bit more comfortable and confident when they go out into the wide world.”

Ed left school with one qualification in metal work, worked in some of London’s top kitchens, cooked for royalty, opened restaurants, taught at college and studied at Teesside University.

He opened his first Brickyard Bakery in Guisborough nine years ago and it has attracted worldwide attention after local people were invited to bake their Christmas cakes in its ovens.  The bakery also provided a warm room for those struggling with their fuel bills.

Mayor Cooke said: “The Brickyard Bakery is really breaking the mould in terms of what a food business can do, so I’m delighted to welcome this new branch to Middlesbrough.

“The food’s fantastic, but better still are the brilliant opportunities it’s opening up for local young people.

“Businesses like the Brickyard are what makes Middlesbrough the vibrant focal point of the Tees Valley, and it’s an investment in the future with the potential to transform lives.”

One of the first interns is 17-year-old Cole Dalby from Redcar.  He has already had a taste of learning from Ed having spent two weeks at Guisborough when he was at school and got in touch when he heard about the opportunities in Middlesbrough.  “I like being active.  I like something to do,” he said.

Cole had started college, but felt it was too early for him.  He is now looking forward to a year where he is going to learn a lot about food hygiene, retail, customer services as well as baking.

The interns will be helped by teaching assistants as they study for their qualifications.  They are part of a team of six employed by Ed.

“Dundas is an important hub in Middlesbrough”

The Brickyard Bakery has moved into the unit vacated by the Cooplands Bakery earlier this year and its arrival completes a circle for 55-year-old Ed who started selling his bread eight years ago in the Dundas Indoor Market.

“Dundas is fantastic and it’s a great site for us.  We see it is an important hub in Middlesbrough.  I’m really excited about being involved in encouraging more and more people to come here.”

Richard Wilson – Senior Associate with Teesside commercial property agent Dodds Brown, which manages the Dundas Shopping Centre on behalf of its owner – said the bakery’s arrival marks an important step in the reinvention of Middlesbrough town centre: “More and more people will be attracted to live and work there as the investment planned by the Middlesbrough Development Corporation takes effect.

“These new communities need services, amenities and shops on their doorstep and I believe we’re going to see many more independent businesses follow the Brickyard Bakery.”

Ed already plans to double the number of internships offered in Middlesbrough and he is confident the model developed there will be repeated elsewhere.  “I want to prove that this works and then work with people to roll it out,” he said.  “Teesside could easily do with another two or three and ultimately we don’t need to stop at Teesside.  The whole of the North East is desperate for real work for the kids that are coming through but don’t have much hope or future.”