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Milk Link Invests In Lockerbie Creamery

30 September 2011

UK - Milk Link has invested £20 Million into the transformation of Lockerbie Creamery. The expenditure programme will make Lockerbie the largest dairy processing site in Scotland and one of the largest and most advanced creameries in the UK, creating a strong platform for the expansion of dairying in South West Scotland and the North of England.

The site will benefit from a major redevelopment with the installation of the latest processing technology increasing annualised production by 12,000 tonnes to over 37,000 tonnes of cheese per annum.

In line with the new creamery’s increased processing capacity, Milk Link will be actively recruiting additional Members in Scotland and the North of England to supply Lockerbie.

The investment will build further Lockerbie’s reputation for making great tasting, Show Champion cheese and improve further its product consistency and productivity. It will complement Milk Link’s other major Cheddar creameries – Taw Valley in Devon and Llandyrnog in North Wales – and enable the business to meet the growing demand from leading retailers, foodservice businesses, food processors and export customers for its high quality range of customer label and branded cheeses, butters and dairy ingredients.

Commenting on the investment Neil Kennedy, Chief Executive said: “Our investment at Lockerbie will transform the creamery and reinforce Milk Link’s leadership position in the production of high quality British cheeses. At the same time, we believe it provides a timely boost to the dairying sector in South West Scotland and the North of England as we increase the volume of milk from the region going into value added dairy processing."

“Work at the creamery will start later this year and will be completed by Autumn 2012. Our decision to invest at Lockerbie reflects the growing demand for our quality British cheeses, the skill and dedication of our staff at Lockerbie and the potential of the South West Scotland and North of England milk field to supply us with increased milk volumes.”

The Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead, commented: “This is superb news for Lockerbie – ensuring that the creamery can look forward to a very bright future. As well as securing vital jobs, the creamery expansion will provide a boost for farmers as the amount of milk required increases to meet demand."

“We have been working with Milk Link on this project, along with Scottish Enterprise, which will help to secure a long term and vibrant future for the dairy industry in Scotland and in particular its heartland in the South West."

“Milk Link’s investment is further recognition of the high quality of Scotland’s food and drink. With ingredients which are second to none – including, obviously, Lockerbie Cheddar – it is little wonder that our food and drink are increasingly becoming the first choice for consumers and suppliers, both here and abroad.”

NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chairman, Kenneth Campbell, said: “This is fantastic news for the Scottish dairy sector. The company’s decision to make a £20 million investment in its creamery and create one of the most modern and efficient cheese-making facilities in the country - if not the EU - shows commitment to meeting the rising demand for cheese both at home and abroad. It is also a real boost for the local economy."

“That is just the kind of investment that we want to see here in Scotland if our dairy sector is to add value and continue supplying consumers at home with fresh, nutritious dairy produce but also have the potential to tap in to rising global demand for dairy products."

“Producing an extra 12,000 tonnes of cheese will need an extra 120 million litres of milk and behind the scenes we have been encouraging Milk Link to look at the opportunities presented by the hugely efficient milk field that already exists on the Lockerbie Creamery’s doorstep. The company has stated that it will now be actively recruiting Scottish dairy farmers to add to the existing 50 Milk Link Members in Scotland who already supply Lockerbie."

“With one third of Scotland’s dairy cows in Dumfries and Galloway and ample milk being produced in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and the Borders, there is plenty of milk available for haulage to the plant."

Jim Watson, company growth support director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is a significant inward investment success and represents Milk Link's largest ever capital expenditure programme. It will substantially boost the local South West economy and will allow the Lockerbie Creamery to achieve its ambitious growth plans including increasing existing markets and targeting new overseas opportunities."

NFU dairy board chairman, Mansel Raymond, said: “The news of an investment on this scale in modern dairy processing is truly excellent news."

“The NFU has a vision for a vibrant and expanding industry, to reflect the growing global demand for quality dairy products. Investment of this type, not only on UK soil, but by a farmer owned cooperative business is very exciting."

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