Northumberland Cheese Company creates new jobs and boosts output after tripling production capacity

The Northumberland Cheese Company has tripled its production capacity to enter new markets, creating five new jobs.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 1:56 pm

The Blagdon-based cheese manufacturer has already recruited two new full-time members of staff and plans to recruit two more alongside an apprenticeship position.

This follows investment which has seen the company purchase new equipment that will facilitate faster pasteurisation, allowing higher volumes of cheese to be produced.

This will enable the business to meet increased demand for its current product range as well as expand into food service markets, boosting sales and profits.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chris Walker, RGN Support Officer (Advance Northumberland), Jackie Riley, Managing Director (Northumberland Cheese Company), Katy McIntosh, RGN Manager (Advance Northumberland).

The expansion was made possible by the award of a grant of £90,520 from the North East Rural Growth Network Rural Business Growth Fund which enabled the company to leverage private investment.

The grant has been used to purchase and install new machinery that has seen the firm double its economic output since October.

This included a 2,000-litre vat with supporting tanks and pipework, an upgrade to the electrical supply to enable the firm to meet future energy requirements and improvements to its waste system.

Northumberland Cheese Company, a subsidiary of Bradbury & Son (Buxton) Limited, has been involved in farmhouse cheese production since 1984.

Managing director Jackie Riley said: “The grant funding has meant that we were able to bring forward our plans to replace and upgrade our production equipment, rather than being limited to what we could produce. We finished installation in mid-October and it is having a big impact on our operations already.

“In the past we would have to start the three-and-a-half-hour pasteurisation process at 6.30am in order to meet our production targets. The new, larger vat gives us 30% more production within a single batch.

“The new equipment will enable us to comfortably pasteurise as much as 6,000 litres of milk per day compared to the 2,100 litres we were previously able to process. It has given us significant headroom for continued growth.”

Rural Growth Network manager Katy McIntosh, at Advance Northumberland, said: “The Rural Growth Network was designed to help SMEs in our region to realise their potential, creating jobs for people in Northumberland, County Durham and Gateshead.”