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Multi-million pound plans unveiled by Hawes firm
2:00pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in Business
DAIRY bosses have unveiled multi-million-pound redevelopment plans to secure the future of a creamery.
The plan, submitted to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Autho-rity by the Wensleydale Creamery , includes a new cheese production plant, visitor centre, smoke house and offices.
The redevelopment would see all cheese production moved to the Gayle Lane site, in Hawes, with the firm’s second dairy, in Kirkby Malzeard, near Ripon, handling blending, order picking and dis-patching.
David Hartley, man-aging director of the firm – the first overall winner of The Westmorland Gazette’s Business and Tourism Awards – said it was estimated the work at both sites would cost between £6m and £8m.
“We have submitted a planning application for a new dairy on the Gayle Lane site,” he said. “It’s a new building that will replace the existing structure, which was built in 1953. Our building is 60 years old and we feel we need to put facilities in place for the next 60 years. This will give us greater capacity, improved efficiencies and better standards of manufacturing.”
Mr Hartley said the dairy was supplying all the UK’s major stores and had secured a number of contracts worldwide, including in the US and Canada.
To continue sup-plying tho0se markets, it was important it had the correct infrastruc-ture in place.
Despite recent tur-moil in the dairy trade, which has included protests from farmers angry about milk prices, Mr Hartley said he remained optimistic about the future of the milk and cheese industry.
He added: “At the moment, we’re pulling the plans together and the next significant move will be to press the green button and say we’re going to commit.”
The facility will include a whey processing plant and better visitor facilities.
If planners back the proposal, initial work could start next year, with the main build taking place in 2014.