South Caernarfon Creameries has announced a three-year, £14.4m expansion to increase the co-operative's cheese production by 50% and create 30 new jobs by 2024.
The investment is being backed by the Welsh government, with a £5m grant from its Food Business Investment Scheme.
The dairy co-operative plans to increase production from its current level of 15,000 tons of cheese a year to 23,000 tons, with an increase in staff from 130 to 160 over the next three years. This growth is projected to increase demand for Welsh milk from its plant at Chwilog, near Pwllheli, from its current level of 130 million litres a year to more than 200 million litres. Turnover is expected to increase from £60m a year to over £85m.
Managing director Alan Wyn-Jones (pictured) said: "Following our first phase of investment back in 2016, we're pleased to announce the next phase of our business growth strategy, which will make us even more resilient, efficient and sustainable in what is a ferociously competitive industry.
"We have grown strongly in recent years, with our sales doubling in the last five years from £30m to £60m and have reached the current production capacity of the plant after major investment in our core cheese production and packing facilities back in 2016.
The £14.4m project will include new facilities for milk reception, additional cheese production and packing lines and a new whey processing facility. Investment is also planned for effluent treatment and improving its environmental and energy performance.
The works are scheduled over a three-year period to be completed by 2024.
Jones added: "SCC is unique within Wales and the UK in being vertically integrated so that our supply chain is owned by the business, our members, and it takes advantage of that co-operative model.
"That means we have the flexibility to offer a diverse range of cheeses on a large or small scale batch basis, and provenance because we know exactly where our milk comes from as we're the only 100% Welsh farmer-owned business."
Photo: Mandy Jones Photography.