WITHOUT wanting to start celebrating early, it does seem there may be some flicker of hope for at least some of the at-risk Avana Bakeries jobs.

According to the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, it does appear that the company has managed to secure a new contract in the wake of the loss of the major one it had with Marks and Spencer.

The withdrawal of that contract brought to an end a 77-year relationship and took away 85 per cent of Avana Bakeries’ work.

In February the company was forced to start a 45-day consultation with staff as 650 jobs were at risk.

Now parent company 2 Sisters Food Group has agreed a contract with one other company and is in talks with other supermarket chains which may well result in at least some of the jobs being saved.

This is great news.

Clearly the new contract is not a like-for-like replacement of the one which had sustained the Rogerstone-based factory for so many years.

But it does show that other chains are keen to benefit from the expertise built up at the bakery over many years.

And it illustrates that the management team have done what they pledged they would, which is to search high and low for new work.

We wish them every success and look forward to a more concrete announcement over the next few days.