South Caernarfon Creameries' Alan Jones (left) and Finance Wales' Rhodri Evans at the site.
A North Wales-based dairy cooperative has expanded its cheese production facilities with the help of a £1m loan from Wales’ national investment body.
South Caernarfon Creameries will use the funding from Finance Wales to modernise its production facilities and increase its first-phase capacity from 9,500 tonnes to 11,500 tonnes per year. The investment is part of a long-term growth strategy for the company that will lead to the continued development of its Dragon brand of premium cheese, which is currently stocked by a number of major retailers across the UK.
More than 90m litres of milk are sourced from local suppliers and processed at the site in Pwllheli – on the Llŷn peninsula – every year.
South Caernarfon Creameries managing director Alan Jones said: “We reviewed our business model in 2010 and decided to focus on the development of our core products of Welsh cheese and butter. Our Dragon branded cheese is the leading Welsh brand and is available in most UK supermarkets. This investment to develop our facilities is required to further grow the brand as well as to enable us to develop other market opportunities.
“This funding package supports our expansion plans. Finance Wales’ loan will help fund the initial development phase. The new development will provide us with a very efficient and flexible production facility which will further support our long-term growth plan.”
Finance Wales investment executive Rhodri Evans added: “Having spent most of my career working in North Wales, I know how important South Caernarfon Creameries is to the area’s agricultural community. It has been operating on the same site near Chwilog since 1937 and is also a significant local employer.
“Alan and his team have transformed South Caernarfon Creameries since 2010 and this investment provides them with the funding to continue this transformation. Expanding cheese production is a major development for the company and welcome news for the local economy. Finance Wales has come up with a short-term capital bridge-funding package to get the project underway.”
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