Davidstow creamery development on course for completion

April 7, 2022

A multi-million pound dairy development project in North Cornwall is on course to be completed following a £3.17m investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The LEP’s grant from the Government’s Getting Building Fund is supporting the multi- million pound development of the world-class Saputo Dairy UK creamery in Davidstow. The £13m project includes LEP funding for new plant and machinery at Davidstow that will help increase capability for cheese production and by-products, reduce the environmental footprint of the creamery by improving waste water treatment, cutting water usage and CO2 emissions, and support jobs in the rural economy.

Davidstow currently employs more than 200 people and is home to the famous Cathedral City cheddar brand which has annual retail sales of over £300 million and is found in more than half of all UK household fridges. It is also exported to Europe, Canada and the US. The project is expected to create 10 direct jobs and support around 60 construction jobs.

The site makes more than 50,000 tonnes of cheese annually from high quality local milk, sourced from around 330 dairy farmers across Cornwall and the South West with full end-to-end traceability.

LEP directors recently toured the Davidstow plant in the company of North Cornwall MP Scott Mann to view progress on the scheme which is due to be completed shortly.

The investment has been welcomed by Minister for Levelling Up Neil O’Brien MP, who said: “The Saputo dairy is hugely important to the region’s rural economy and its development will see CO2 emissions cut, new jobs created and plenty more delicious cheese produced for sale. By backing this innovative project with more than £3 million of funding, the government is helping to spread opportunity and prosperity and level
up communities across the South West.”

Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall, said: “Davidstow is home to one of Britain’s best-loved cheeses and I’m delighted to see the LEP using Getting Building Fund investment from the Government to support such a vital local business. Not only does this protect hundreds of direct jobs, it creates increased demand for milk from a supply chain that stretches from Cornwall across the South West, providing security for
hundreds of local farmers.”

LEP director Clare Parnell, who chairs the LEP’s Rural Group, said: “The LEP’s investment via the Getting Building Fund will help boost cheese production capacity, creating an even bigger market for locally-sourced milk, while improving the plant’s efficiency and environmental performance. Food production is vital to the rural economy and the LEP is pleased to be backing this important project.”

Tom Atherton, President and Chief Operating Officer of Saputo Dairy UK, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the LEP for supporting our continued investment in the Davidstow creamery to both increase production capability and further improve its environmental resilience. As demand for our cheddar grows, we want to ensure we can fulfil that need in a responsible way while also supporting the local economy here in
North Cornwall.”

The LEP’s funding is part of a successful bid for £14.3m of Getting Building Fund investment in 2020 following a Government call for projects that could create jobs and support post-Covid-19 economic recovery across the country. Other LEP-backed Getting Building Fund projects in Cornwall include the transformation of the Hall for Cornwall in Truro city centre, a new STEM and health Skills Centre in Bodmin, and funding for a pilot lithium extraction plant at United Downs near Redruth, which will seek to separate lithium for electric vehicles batteries from geothermal waters from deep underground as part of a growing technology metals industry in Cornwall.