Dale Farm is planning a further £35m investment in its UK cheese and milk bottling facilities.

The £330m Northern Irish producer last week unveiled the first phase of its investment programme, a £5m Cheddar plant and whey ultrafiltration plant in Cookstown. Some £20m of the new investment has been earmarked for expanding its cheese-packing facilities in Britain, with Kendal in Cumbria a possible location for a new site.

The company has also begun work on a new chilled product distribution centre at Kendal and is upgrading its milk bottle blowing plant at its fresh milk facility in Ballymena.

"This major investment programme will enable us to further develop our added value sales in the UK and Ireland as well as into key export markets," said group chief executive David Dobbin. "Our key aim is to be best in class in our chosen markets and to be a leading player in cheese."