Cheesemaking ends in Fivemiletown as creamery is closed
Employees of a creamery in Co Tyrone have been dealt a blow after being told the plant will close in just over a month.
Dairy cooperative Dale Farm has announced it will not renew its lease on the Fivemiletown creamery site and is planning to relocate staff and cheese production more than 60 miles away to its facility in Cullybackey, close to Ballymena.
Dale Farm is supporting the 18 staff currently employed at the Fivemiletown site by offering transfers to other Dale Farm production locations or, where this is not feasible, securing suitable redundancy packages, it said in a statement.
The only Fivemiletown cheese Dale Farm will continue to produce from early June will be goat's cheese.
All other lines - including the award-winning Ballybrie, Ballyblue, Ballyoak and smoked Oakwood cheddar - will no longer be carried.
DUP councillor Wills Robinson said party leader Arlene Foster had been in touch with Dale Farm and the party will continue to work to ensure the best outcome for the affected employees.
"Many of them are long-term workers and no one wants this type of uncertainty," he said.
Expressing her disappointment, Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Rosemary Barton said: Once again South Tyrone has been hit by the closure of another factory.