A BAKERY group employing 1,550 staff went into administration last night after tough trading conditions and a fire at one of its factories.

Rathbones Bakeries, which employs 35 people in Middlesbrough, had a fire in Carlisle in February.

Corporate recovery experts from KPMG were appointed on Friday evening.

Rathbones, which had sales of £100m last year and supplies Tesco and Morrisons, employs 444 staff at its Walsall head office, with another 409 at Leicester and the remainder at Peterborough, Carlisle, Wigan, Wakefield and Middlesbrough.

It sold a bakery in Yarm Road, Stockton, to Warburtons earlier this year.