Arla Foods is to close its Manchester dairy and distribution facility in a bid to cut costs across its business.

Up to 300 jobs could be lost following the closure of the plant, which is due to be completed by January 2009. The raw milk processing operations will be transferred to Arla’s Ashby de la Zouche, Hatfield Peverel and Stourton facilities.

The company made the decision to close the facility as part of its strategy ‘to further enhance operational efficiencies across the entire business’, it said in a statement.

Arla also confirmed that it had begun consulting with staff and union representatives over the possibility of redundancies. The processor would look to find affected staff alternative employment within the business and outside, a spokeswoman added.