Manufacturing

Cream of the crop: BV Dairy to create 32+ high-skilled jobs as £2m expansion gets green light

BV Dairy's Wincombe Lane site in Shaftesbury.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: November 13, 2020 | Updated: 13th November 2020

A North Dorset dairy manufacturer is planning to create more than 32 high-skilled jobs as part of a £2m expansion.

Family-owned BV Dairy says the approval of £750,000 in funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) has secured plans to create the major new facility at its Shaftesbury site.

Construction is expected to start in January 2021.

It continues the major investment of the past four years including a new chill store, a kefir bottling facility and an automated process department.

Vaughan Heard, Finance and HR Director, pictured left, said: “We are delighted to secure the grant funding from RDPE.

“It will support us in our aim to provide increased long-term opportunity for local employees and security for farmers and rural workers in North Dorset.

“We are extremely proud of the wonderful dairy industry heritage and legacy in North Dorset, and to play our part in bringing these quality products to a national and international audience.

“The additional capacity created by the new facility, together with the improvements in technology, allows us to court major new customers – which in turn creates more opportunity for our dairy farm suppliers.

“I would like to thank the RDPE for its generous grant funding.

“I also wish to extend my sincere thanks to Simon Hoare (North Dorset MP), our many Dorset suppliers and Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce, for their collective support and assistance in helping BV Dairy to secure the necessary funding.”

BV Dairy was founded in 1958 by father-and-son team Jack and Christopher Highnam.

They began by making clotted cream on a kitchen top at the family’s Old Rectory Farm in Kington Magna near Gillingham.

The dairy is now in the hands of the third generation of the family, Jim Highnam.

BV Dairy employs 130 people and had an annual turnover of £36.7m in the 12 months to March 31, 2019, its latest published accounts.

Milk is sourced from Red Tractor accredited farms within a 25 mile radius of the company’s Wincombe Lane site.

Its specialist dairy products are supplied to the manufacturing, catering and food service industries.

They include soft cheeses, crème fraiche, buttermilk, cream (single, double and whipping), Dorset clotted cream, fromage frais, yogurts including Greek style, soured cream, ricotta and mascarpone.

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