Lakeland Dairies announce closure of Banbridge site amid new strategic direction
Lakeland Dairies has announced the closure of its creamery in Banbridge, with a process to sell the site due to commence shortly.
The butter churning and packing and powder storage site will close in June 2024, with several jobs expected to be impacted.
In a statement, a spokesperson said that redundancies would be “necessary”.
“Between now and quarter one of 2025, significant change will be implemented across the Lakeland Dairies business to ensure the co-operative is well placed to meet future market requirements with a realigned processing footprint to match milk supply profiles,” said a spokesperson.
“This is the first step in a new strategy which will continue to be implemented across the Society in the coming months.”
Over the course of this year, the cross-border dairy processing co-operative has assessed how best to create further processing efficiencies in the long-term interests and sustainability of its 3200 farm families who produce 2bn litres of milk annually.
They said that after “detailed and careful consideration” the Board had settled on a plan where liquid milk production will move from Lakeland Dairies Monaghan to Lakeland Dairies Killeshandra, while all other bulk milk handling activities will transfer to other Lakeland Dairies sites.
This will result in the closure of the Monaghan site in Q1 2025, with a process to sell the site expected to follow.
Milk drying facilities at Lough Egish, Co. Monaghan will also close in June 2024.
“Regrettably, redundancies will be necessary to realise this strategy as operations will be ceased on the three sites,” said the spokesperson.
“Exact details and numbers will be confirmed in due course but it is anticipated that 78 jobs will be impacted by the announcement. There will also be redeployment opportunities for some staff into vacant positions in the business.”
They added that the company has begun engaging and consulting with staff and their unions.
Lakeland Dairies’ Group Chief Executive Officer, Colin Kelly said: “As a business, we continually assess how we can take long-term strategic decisions that will benefit the Society for this and subsequent generations.
“We do appreciate that this announcement creates uncertainty for our colleagues and their families. We will work closely with them and support them throughout this process in which they will continue to be treated fairly and with respect.
“While this is a difficult decision, it is a crucial one to ensure that Lakeland Dairies is future-proofed and well-positioned to meet the challenges as well as the opportunities of the future.”