Davidstow creamery, responsible for Cathedral City cheese, will increase its output by 40% due to expansion plans worth £75 million. The expansion will boost production from 54,000 tonnes a year to 77,000 tonnes, supporting further growth at home and overseas of Dairy Crest’s leading cheddar brand, Cathedral City, which is made exclusively at the site.
Annually, Dairy Crest spends about £150 million from buying 500 million litres of milk sourced from 330 dairy farmers across the South West, and an additional £50 million in the local economy on wages, transport and other costs. A further 200 million litres of milk will be required as part of the expansion, worth an extra £60 million a year to the region’s farmers.
“This project represents a major investment by Dairy Crest that will boost capacity, help with the long term security of the 200 jobs on site, reduce our environmental impact and create new opportunities for milk suppliers across the region,” said Davidstow site director, Dylan Ellis.
“We are already talking to our existing farmers in Cornwall and Devon about increasing their production and we are also looking to expand our milk pool into Somerset. We hope that will give farmers the confidence to invest, knowing that there is a market for their milk,” Dylan added.
A ‘hybrid’ planning application for detailed permission to upgrade the creamery, together with an outline permission to upgrade its existing waste water treatment plant was submitted by Dairy Crest. Moreover, a parallel planning application will also be submitted by solar energy developer Lightsource BP for a solar park next to the creamery that will generate ten per cent of its current annual demand for electricity, saving 1,200 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the emissions of 500 UK homes.
Cornwall Council will formally consult on the applications before making a decision later this year.