In a move that has further strengthened its commitment to the Cumbrian dairy sector, farmer-owned co-operative, First Milk, officially opened the company’s £20 million investment at its Lake District Creamery in Aspatria this week.
In a ceremony to mark the opening of the investment, His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the multi-million-pound investment that has seen capacity at the site increase by 40% over the last four years.
In a time of great change for the agricultural industry, this capital investment at the Lake District Creamery is part of a wider programme across the First Milk business, as the co-operative has focused on increasing capacity, productivity and building operational resilience.
Speaking about the investment, Shelagh Hancock, Chief Executive, said:
“Cumbria is a county with a strong dairy heritage, and we are proud to have so many co-operative members in this area. That’s why our investment at Lake District Creamery is so important – it sits in the heart of our Cumbrian milk field.
“This £20m investment saw us install five new high-capacity cheese blockformers, capable of packing cheese at a rate of 7 tonnes per hour. In addition, we’ve upgraded milk intake and milk storage, installed two new milk pasteurisers and two new whey pasteurisers and an end of line robotised stacking and palletisation system, alongside a 120-tonne automated cooling store.
“Altogether, this transforms the site, allowing us to process 1 million litres of milk a day and ensuring that we can continue to play our part in meeting the growing global demand for dairy, securing the future for our members.”