Dairy jobs are saved

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MORE than 50 jobs have been secured after a dairy was sold to a new management team.

Rock Farm Dairy, in Wheatley Hill, went into administration last month after falling into financial difficulty.

The administrators successfully negotiated with UK Dairy Sales to come up with a deal where assets remain in the same location, saving 55 jobs and continuing a supply to customers.

All employees retained by the company following administration will be transferred to the new owner along with company-owned assets.

Stephen Oldfield, joint administrator and PwC partner said: “We are delighted to have successfully concluded terms with the tolling partner, UKDS, for the sale of the company’s business and assets.

“The sale is positive news for all stakeholders as it enables the transfer of 55 employees and preserves continuity of supply to customers in the North East, providing a longer term solution beyond the tolling agreement.

“Going forward we will continue to concentrate on the recovery of the Company’s pre-appointment debtors in order to achieve enhanced dividend prospects for all unsecured creditors.”

The owner of UKDS, Jon Thornes MBE, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have managed to agree terms for the purchase of Rock Farm Dairy.

“With the future of the dairy secured we can now concentrate all our efforts into growing the business, creating new local jobs and continuing to produce the highest quality, locally produced milk and dairy products for our thousands of customers across the North of England.

“I am a passionate believer in the importance of supplying local milk for local people. Customers increasingly want to know where their milk comes from and trust the quality of the source.

“Rock Farm has traditionally been a local, family run dairy that enjoyed these qualities in abundance and we intend to keep it that way.”

UKDS is planning to invest over £2m in long-term growth for the business. The new enterprise will be owned by UKDS but will continue to trade as Rock Farm Dairy, preserving the 105 year heritage of the brand.