First Milk and Scottish Government announce revised plan for new Kintyre creamery
Following extensive discussions between First Milk and the Scottish Government, a brand new cheese-making facility will be installed at First Milk's existing site in Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre. This secures the future of 38 dairy farms and 100 jobs on the peninsula.
The new factory will allow for increased production and provide processing efficiencies which cannot be achieved at the current plant.
The new facility will be funded by two sources: up to £2 million from the Scottish Government; and funds from First Milk, the UK's leading dairy farmer co-operative.
Over the past two years, First Milk had progressed plans to sell its existing Campbeltown site to Tesco and backed by grant funding from the Scottish Government, relocate to a new location in the town. However, Tesco has now indicated that it no longer wishes to purchase the site in order to build a larger store in the town, as a result the creamery will remain at its current location.
First Milk's chief executive Kate Allum commented:"Throughout this process we have remained absolutely committed to our farmers on Kintyre, to the creamery and to the development of our world-famous Mull of Kintyre brand. With that in mind, we will invest in a brand new cheese-making facility at our existing site, aided by grant support from the Scottish Government.
"We have met with farmers and employees in Campbeltown to inform them of these developments, and agreed to work as one team alongside the Scottish Government to develop a long term sustainable future for the dairy industry on Kintyre.
"Finally, I want to put on record our thanks to Richard Lochhead and the Scottish Government. We greatly value their support over the last few years and their continuing commitment to this project."
Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment in the Scottish Government said: "The Scottish dairy sector boasts some of the most efficient production systems in the world. Despite these challenging times, we remain determined to lend our active support for this project, which will provide Kintyre dairy farmers with the state-of-the art processing facility that they deserve."
Notes to editors:
· The creamery is supplied by 38 dairy farms. There is no other viable processing outlet for these farms and future prospects were bleak without a new creamery. The existing Campbeltown creamery was built in the 1820s as a whisky distillery before being converted to a cheese-manufacturing facility.
· Scottish Government support is subject to the beneficiary meeting standard grant conditions.