UK-based Tomlinson’s Dairies is to expand its business with the development of a processing facility and the creation of around 80 jobs.

The 70,000 sq ft dairy, which will be commissioned in the summer of 2011, will have capacity to expand production from 25m to 100m litres per annum.

The firm currently supplies milk and cream to around 300 “small” outlets, including Spar stores, across Wales and North West England. Jane Olney, a spokesperson for the company told just-food that the new facility will hit the technical standards it needs to begin supplying to major retailers.

Olney said the decision to expand came as a result of an increase in demand for Welsh milk.

“Retailers are looking for Welsh milk from local suppliers, and that’s what customers are looking for too,” Olney added.

Co-owner of Tomlinson’s Dairies, Philip Tomlinson, added that the development will see the firm double processing capacity as soon as the new factory is commissioned, which is expected in May/June 2011.

“The new facility will achieve the technical standards required by all major retailers in the UK and will allow us to continue sourcing local Welsh milk and processing it and packing it within Wales thereby reducing food miles,” Tomlinson said. “We are committed to supporting the local economy and farming community and anticipate a number of new jobs will be created as a result of the growth in the business, whilst providing a secure outlet for milk from local farmers for the future,” he added.

The firm declined to comment on the cost of the new facility but said it had received funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.