First Milk, the UK's largest dairy farmer co-operative, has announced today that it is exploring the opportunity to develop a new, modern and efficient cheese and whey manufacturing facility on the Kintyre peninsula.
Jeff Halliwell, managing director of First Milk's cheese business, commented:
"Our aim is to a deliver a world class processing network for our business and to achieve this we have reviewed all our sites, including our creamery at Campbeltown, and developed a programme of activity.
"We believe that the best option to secure the long-term future of dairying in Kintyre is to develop a modern and flexible manufacturing footprint at a new site on the peninsula. This move would also enable us to take full advantage of the potential of the Mull of Kintyre cheese brand.
"Accordingly we have engaged on a confidential basis with Scottish Government ministers to share our top line business plan and explore opportunities for financial support.
"The ministers recognised the importance of the dairy industry for the Kintyre peninsula and expressed their support for our plan. Based on their suggestions, we are now engaged in detailed discussions with grant funding bodies to explore opportunities for financial support.
"We will, of course, keep all our stakeholders informed as we work to put funding in place to develop this plan."
The site buildings were erected in 1820 and the site initially operated as a whisky distillery. It converted to milk processing in 1921, moving into full-scale cheese manufacture in 1974. The current site infrastructure was developed in the 1980's. The creamery employs 33 staff, with a further 95 employed on First Milk members' farms.
For further information:
Jill Coyle,Communications Manager, Office: 0141 847 6884, Mobile: 07825 62520