Hoping to save 88 dairy jobs

A BUSINESSMAN says he will do everything he can to save as many jobs as possible at a dairy.

Family-run business Rock Farm Dairy site in Wheatley Hill went into administration following financial problems putting 88 jobs at risk.

But it is now hoped that most of the jobs will be saved after Jon Thornes, the founder of Lincolnshire-based Cool Milk, stepped in.

He was approached by the administrators Price Waterhouse Cooper to save the 105-year-old dairy.

Mr Thornes said: “We are working closely with the administrators to save as many local jobs as we possibly can to ensure that milk is delivered and to maximise the value of the business.”

The new operation at Rock Farm will be run by UK Dairy Sales and will continue to trade under the Rock Farm Dairy banner.

The dairy supplies local shops and over 2,500 schools and care homes across the North-East and Cumbria.

Mr Thornes added: “I am delighted to set up this new venture so that we can maintain the tradition of offering superb service to the local community and preserving the rich heritage of the Rock Farm Dairy brand.

“Having secured the immediate future of the dairy, UK Dairy Sales is now fully focused on moving the operation forward.

“I am looking forward to working with the local community and to discuss our exciting and ambitious plans with farmers and other suppliers.

“I am aware that farmers are both worried and angry about the uncertainty and I am more than willing to meet them individually to discuss the way forward.”