A CREAMERY in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales has appointed a new chairman to help spearhead growth for its brand.

David Salkeld has joined The Wensleydale Creamery, bringing with him more than 25 years of director-level food and dairy leadership experience.

Mr Salkeld comes from his role as chief executive at convenience food manufacturer Symingtons, where he led the turnaround of the business, driving acquisitions and leading a major brand development programme.

He was also previously managing director of Northern Dairies, a market leader in the liquid milk market, and chief executive officer at Arla Foods.

Mr Salkeld said that it was 'fantastic' to join the 'strong team' at the creamery and he was 'delighted' to come on board as chairman.

"It’s no secret that the dairy industry is a really challenging one, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with all partners to ensure that we are focussed to deliver, and maximise the wealth of opportunities that are available domestically and abroad," he said.

Home of the famous Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, the creamery is globally renowned for its award-winning traditional cheese-making skills, as well as bringing innovation to the world of dairy products.

It sources milk from more than 40 local farms and contributes more than £12million to the rural local economy through milk payments, wages and purchases.

The business employs more than 230 staff across two sites, and supplies a broad range of retailers and manufacturers across the UK, as well as exporting to countries across the globe.

David Hartley, managing director at The Wensleydale Creamery, said: “We’re delighted to welcome David to The Wensleydale Creamery. A demonstrated leader with a wealth of experience, David will be instrumental in our future as he helps us to develop strategic opportunities; bringing new thinking and guidance to assist in the development and delivery of our ambitious growth strategy.

“We’re confident David’s appointment will bring real insight and benefits to all of the creamery’s stakeholders."

“We also want to say a big thank you to Matthew Gribbin for all his hard work and support which has been key to our development over the last 10 years.”