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Creamery ‘not for sale’

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Creamery ‘not for sale’ thumbnailThe Banbridge Plant owned by Lakeland Dairies

ARMAGHDOWN Creameries in Banbridge is not for sale, according to the co-op's chief executive Michael Hanley.

The comment comes four months after the shock decision to let go 70 permanent full-time and part-time staff at the milk processing site at the Rathfriland Road factory.

Lakeland Dairies purchased the dairy plant from Fane Valley in May of this year and staff had been assured their jobs were safe.

However, the staff were informed that the facility would be switching to operating on a seasonal-basis only.

Mr Hanley said: "There are two dryers on site, both of which have been maintained to a fully operational level. Our plan is to manage the Banbridge operation on a wholly operational basis."

Back in August The Outlook reported that the creamery will not reopen until March.

A spokesperson from Lakeland Dairies said it would be "too costly to bring the creamery up to a standard in which it could continue to operate on year-round basis".

Recently, Mr Hanley also suggested that the Banbridge facility could play a key role as part of Lakeland's post-Brexit strategy.

“We have two plants in Northern Ireland - Banbridge and the Pritchitt facility in Newtownards. Both are critical in terms of our plans moving forward," Mr Hanley said.

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