Bid to save Campbeltown Creamery fails

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Fourteen jobs will be affected by the closure.
Fourteen jobs will be affected by the closure.

Related tags First milk Scotland Milk

UK dairy company First Milk has announced it is consulting with employees about its intention to close its Campbeltown Creamery in Scotland.

There will be 14 jobs affected by the closure.

The Campbeltown Creamery was put up for sale in April 2018 when First Milk announced it was not core to its business strategy for the future. First Milk said it has not been possible to sell the creamery.

When it became clear that a sale to a third party was unlikely, local Kintyre farmers launched a plan to take over the creamery. Despite work to find a way to take the business forward, especially from their steering group, advisers, the Scottish Government and Campbeltown Creamery employees, First Milk said they have not been able to find a financially viable long-term business plan for the creamery.

Shelagh Hancock, chief executive, said, “We are disappointed that it has not been possible to conclude a sale of Campbeltown Creamery. We fully appreciate that this decision has significant consequences for colleagues at the Creamery and the local community, but it is important that we act in the best interest of the wider business and our farmer members and continue with the solid progress we have made in strengthening and developing First Milk. We regret the impact this decision will have on our colleagues and are committed to treating those affected fairly and with consideration during this difficult time.

“Throughout the last 18 months we have been in regular dialogue with our local members on Kintyre about the future of the site. Nothing will change in respect to their cooperative membership of First Milk, and we will continue to collect and pay for their milk on the same basis as before going forward.”

James Barbour, chairman of the Kintyre steering group, added, “It was the right thing to investigate all avenues to see if we could keep the creamery open in Kintyre. There was widespread enthusiasm from the local farmers to try to secure the future of the site and genuine support from First Milk, the Scottish Government and the local community, along with a successful crowd-funding campaign. Despite all of this we were not able to find a financially viable long-term solution for the creamery. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us through this period.”

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