Welsh dairy co-operative South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC) is to begin work on a £8.5 million cheese production facility later this summer.

The plant will almost double production capacity from 9,500 tonnes to 17,000 tonnes, said MD Alan Wyn-Jones. The £6m initial phase, which will take production to 11,000 tonnes, is set to be completed by summer 2015.

A second phase of construction, budgeted at an additional £2.5 million, would be implemented as soon as SCC’s milk supply had grown to support the additional capacity, added Wyn-Jones. He said the processor’s 90 existing jobs would be safeguarded by the development and that a further 10 roles were set to be created.

“As part of our strategic development, the creamery initially announced plans for future investment at the site in autumn 2013. Since then, extensive due diligence has been carried out with the project gaining full board approval in June,” he said.

The scheme was part-funded by the Welsh government and signified an “exciting period in the next development phase of our business”, claimed Wyn-Jones.

SCC sells cheese under the Dragon brand and supplies own-label products for the major multiples. It secured a £50m deal to supply cheese to Adams Foods in December 2012, an agreement that also saw it end liquid milk production.

In May, the processor launched a premium Cheddar that had been aged underground for 14 months at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns.