AN artisan bakery giving work to prisoners is seeking to raise £15,000 to expand its services.

Freedom Bakery, set up less than a year ago in HMP Low Moss, plans to open a second bakery in Glasgow City Centre.

And founder, Matt Fountain, is hoping to crowd-fund the money needed to boost the scheme, which helps prisoners be rehabilitated back into society.

Matt said: “The successful opening of the new bakery will create a model entirely unique in the world, where we can prove that people with convictions can prove their skills and value once rehabilitated back into society.

“The Freedom Bakery has doubled its customer base in the past two months and demand is such because skills and quality of what our prison team produce is what people really want.”

Freedom Bakery gives intensive training to people with convictions in a real bakery environment in Low Moss prison, near Bishopbriggs.

A second bakery will, it is hoped, help Freedom expand its trade and help pay for the service it provides in prison.

It will also allow more in-depth training for its graduates working on day release and, in exceptional cases, provide employment opportunities for those it has trained inside.

The team at Freedom Bakery will be hosting a crowd funding launch party at West Brewery, Glasgow Green, on April 7 from 6.30pm.

The event will be open to everyone to give people the chance to hear from Matt, who will explain to potential funders the plans for the fundraising campaign.

Funding will be used to purchase equipment necessary for the new artisan bakery.

Opening the new bakery will enable Freedom to produce wholesale breads and pastries for cafés, restaurants and shops because they will be able to work to normal delivery times, something that is not possible in the original prison bakery.

The new bakery will also provide the opportunity to open up the program to other groups in society who also find barriers to employment.

Matt added: "We have formed a strong team who are learning the trade with great progress and achieving excellent results.

"Freedom has made a good foothold in the city with our wholesale and office delivery services, doubling our customer base in the past two months alone.

"In order for our model to be complete we need to establish a second bakery in Glasgow so that we can provide more opportunities for the people we're working with, ultimately with short term employment opportunities as they leave prison.

"It will also allow us to trade more broadly, meeting increasing demand so that we can reinvest our profits back into the people we were established for.

"The plans for our new bakery mean that we will be able to engage with more groups in society, provide classes for the public and increase our service in the community."

One of the current staff members, Joe, said: “This has given me the confidence to get a job, hopefully as a baker, outside.

"And hopefully not to come back to prison.”

Matt was inspired to set up Freedom Bakery after learning about a similar scheme near Bologna in Italy, which works with recovering addicts on wine-making, baking and farming techniques.