It should be point out that there have been maltings on this site since 1874, although Bairds have been here only since 1924, taking over the old Grays Maltings.
Bairds were established in Glasgow in 1823 and are one of the oldest malting companies in Europe. By 1960, over twenty floor maltings were operating in England and Scotland. Bairds became a public company in 1896. In 1989 Bairds joined the expanding Canada Malting Group which is one of the largest maltings companies in the world. Canada Malting were involved in the original design of the modern Witham maltings in the early 1960s. Expansion has been continuous and in the autumn of 1991 Canada Malting's investment in the new plant at Witham was completed.
The Witham plant is the largest of the Bairds malting sites with a total annual production of around 53,000 tonnes. The site was originally established in 1926 when a 'traditional' floor maltings was built. Major investments in more recent years have seen the site being turned into one of the most modern in the country.
The plant was commissioned in 1991 after extensive design developments and, in particular, features belt conveying equipment and the use of stainless steel for all vessels in contact with the malt during processing. The plant is fully automated, including the malt silo complex.
Witham is situated in the heart of the 'granary of England' so the primary source of material is East Anglia, thought by many to be the best barley growing area in the U.K.
From the main production facilities, malt is produced for major brewing customers in both the UK and abroad. However following a tradition within the Company of over a hundred years, the Roast House at Witham produces and supplies a variety of specialist coloured malts most often required by the smaller traditional brewers both in the UK and throughout the world.
Sources: Bairds Malt; Witham & Countryside Society; Great Eastern Railway Society;