A HOUSEHOLD name Greenock bakery is back in business after closing down for two months.

Aulds started back production at its headquarters yesterday with around half its workforce back at their Brisbane Street base.

The bakery is taking steps to recovery with its first delivery and the re-opening of its shop beside the HQ.

Managing director Alan Marr said: "We are very pleased to have started back production.

"We took the decision to close eight weeks ago - we didn't know much about the virus and our first priority was to keep staff safe.

"Around 80 per cent of all food companies in Scotland remained opened.

"We are one of the 20 per cent who shut down completely.

"Our staff come first.

"We have a very good and loyal workforce, some who have been with us for a long time."

Mr Marr said during lockdown the firm did everything it could to learn about the virus and make the changes necessary to operate successfully in this new challenging environment.

He said: "We now feel positive that we can keep employees safe.

"We will be operating at 50 per cent capacity, as it is not a normal market."

Mr Marr says the bakery - which was founded 120 years ago - has invested thousands of pounds in the latest hi-tech equipment, including a thermal sensing camera to test workers' temperatures as they enter the premises.

Around 50 new measures have been introduced to ensure staff observe a safe distance as they move through the facility.

This includes a one-way system, barriers and simple things like mirrors so people don't bump into each other going around corners.

Staff will also be working on staggered shift patterns.

Mr Marr said Covid-19 had brought challenges Aulds had never faced before.

He said: "We have throughout our 120 year history traded through two world wars, a major fire in our plant in Inchinnan, and the demise of the high street.

"The coronavirus is the most unusual challenge we have come across, and one we couldn't have planned for.

"It is fortunate that Scotmid - one of our major customers - allowed us back, and we will be serving all the Scotmid stores in central Scotland."

The Brisbane Street shop, the only retail outlet to return thus far, will be operating 8.30 and 3pm and if this is successful, Aulds will look to open other shops.

Mr Marr said: "There is a long way to go.

"This is only one step."