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    Ex Lakeland Head Of Commercial Finance new finance director at Bells of Lazonby

    Claire Leftwich

    Cumbria-based baker Bells of Lazonby has appointed Claire Leftwich as its new Finance Director.

    Claire joins the third-generation family business from James Cropper PLC. The new Finance Director started her career as a Finance Manager for Lakeland Leather, before operating as Head of Commercial Finance for Lakeland Ltd.

    David Simmons – who previously held the position of Finance Director for Bells of Lazonby– is moving on to pastures new after 17 years. During his time with the bakers, he has been an integral part of its rapid growth – with sales today forecast to be more than £40million.

    Claire, who started in role in February, has more than 15 years’ experience in finance across senior roles, most recently working as Finance Director and Interim CFO for Cumbria’s James Croppers PLC.

    “Bells of Lazonby is a business with quality at its core,” said Claire. “Coming into role, I aim to drive further growth as we continue to expand our manufacturing capabilities across conventional bakery and free from bakery in both private label and brand.

    “I have a great passion for working for family businesses with strong values. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working at two of the most well-known Lakeland legacy businesses – so I am incredibly excited to pursue the next stage of my career with the Bells family.”

    Bells of Lazonby is home to one of the fastest growing “free-from” sweet bakery brands, We Love Cake.  We Love Cake has seen rapid growth in recent years growing over 370 per cent since 2020 in value and volume. Operating in UK Frozen Foodservice, Australia and UK retail, it is on track with its mission to become the biggest brand in value sales in Free From Sweet Bakery in the UK, having achieved this already in Australia.

    In conventional bakery, Bells of Lazonby are a leading supplier in high street coffee chains and UK retail.

    Managing Director for Bells of Lazonby, Tim Conder, said: “We are excited to welcome Claire into the team as we enter the next chapter for our business.  Bells of Lazonby has an inspiring growth story built on consumer trust, category innovation and ultimately, a legacy of brilliant people”.

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