Twenty new jobs have been created following a multi-million pound investment by dairy processor LacPatrick in County Tyrone
LacPatrick, one of Northern Ireland’s longest running processors, has unveiled a new Dairy Technology Centre in Artigarvan, following a £30m investment supported by Danske Bank.
The new 30,000 square foot centre will double the site’s capacity, making the firm one of the biggest producers of dairy products in the UK. It represents one of the single biggest investments in the Northern Ireland dairy industry in recent years.
Gabriel D’Arcy, Chief Executive of LacPatrick, said: “The new dairy technology centre at Artigarvan will provide security of capacity for local dairy farmers producing milk to the highest standards.
“The plant provides long term security to our supplier base and positions the business at the forefront of global dairy technologies. We are now able to produce two new lines of milk powder for international markets with the dairy technology centre able to process milk all year round.
“The 20 new roles are in areas such as Operations, Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety. As new product development continues to be a priority, we see excellent opportunities for ambitious food science graduates in the coming years.”
Mr D’Arcy said the core logistical risk of Brexit has been greatly mitigated by the Artigarvan facility.
As an exporter out of the UK, LacPatrick will be closely monitoring the trading agreements being negotiated by the UK.
He added: “We will be focused on driving product development, building relationships with processors seeking access to our technology and expanding our customer base in Asia and the Middle East. We have made a significant capital investment with the clear purpose of delivering a sustainable return to our suppliers over the coming months and years ahead.”
Mark Canning, Corporate Acquisition Manager at Danske Bank, commented: “Danske Bank have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Ballyrashane Co-Operative and were delighted to have been the chosen banking partner of the merged LacPatrick business in early 2016.
“Our relationship has been further strengthened with Danske Bank providing funding assistance towards this significant investment in a new milk processing plant, which demonstrates LacPatrick’s continued innovative approach and dynamic presence in the dairy food sector.”
LacPatrick was formed in 2015 after a merger between Town of Monaghan Co-Operative and Ballyrashane Co-Operative. The Artigarvan site currently employs 70 staff with LacPatrick Dairies employing over 300 staff across all of its sites.