The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) has expanded its ingredients production in the UK by opening a facility in Staffordshire.

The plant, which opened on Friday (14 October), replaces the existing Adams Food Ingredients (AFI) manufacturing facility in Leek.

The new 65,000 sq ft AFI site, including an innovation centre, was completed on time and cost EUR12.7m (US$17.7m), the IDB said. It will employ 50 people that were transferred from the Prince Street plant. As a result of the investment, ten additional jobs have been created.

The new facility's production capacity is expected be over 20,000 tonnes per annum, double the level of the Leek plant.

The IDB said the new plant will develop "dairy ingredient solutions, aimed at customers in Britain and export markets". However, a spokesperson did not disclose what exports markets these would be.

IDB CEO Kevin Lane added: "This investment provides the Irish dairy industry with further market opportunities to meet the growing demand from food manufacturers for high quality dairy ingredients. Our purpose built innovation centre allows us to work more closely with food manufacturers in developing specific formulations."

The expansion is the latest investment at the IDB. Last month, it opened a new representative office in Algeria as a critical base from which to develop and extend its footprint in north Africa.