Yoghurt manufacturer to start work on £500k expansion

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Rochdale-based yogurt brand Lancashire Farm Dairies is about to start work on a £500,000 expansion to its main production facility.

The two-storey expansion will include a mezzanine floor and building work is expected to start within a month after receiving planning permission from Rochdale Borough Council.

The company, which was founded in 1984, has recruited an extra 20 staff during the COVID-19 pandemic to help the company meet an increase in demand for its products.

Chief operating officer Sarfaraz Akram said: “It’s really important to press ahead with the investment.

“It will create additional capacity to help us keep the shelves fully stacked during this critical time.

“We submitted the planning application before COVID-19 but the increase in demand has meant we’ve accelerated our plans. We’ve got a lot of other exciting plans in the pipeline.”

He added: “We’re really proud to be from Rochdale and being based here is one of the reasons for our success.

“We’ve got a fantastic workforce and the excellent transport links are vital for our delivery fleet. We have provided a number of opportunities to provide further training to develop and upskill our staff.

“We also have an excellent relationship with the RDA and Rochdale Borough Council. There’s a feel-good factor in the borough when it comes to business.”

Last year the award-winning manufacturer announced it was on course to hit a record turnover of £40m as it looks to take on its biggest rivals.

Lancashire Farm Dairies’ production line

The local business covers the length and breadth of the country with its yogurts, made with free-range milk which guarantees the cows used are grazing for a minimum of 150 days a year. Last year the firm achieved 180 days, half the year grazing outdoors.

In response to COVID-19 the firm said it has increased the speed in which it pays its farmers providing them with much-needed cashflow to run their businesses during the period.

Akram added: “We are really proud to support local British dairy farmers, they are the lifeblood of our business.”

The company has recently invested £5m in new machinery at its Rochdale base, which processes upwards of 130,000 litres of milk a day, 365 days a year.