Medina Dairy has bought Dairy Farmers of Britain's former milk processing site at Blaydon as part of a plan to nearly double turnover to £400m within five years.

Medina, the UK's largest independent dairy company, completed the purchase from DFB's administrators last week. Although it would not reveal the price, industry sources claim the figure was close to £4.2m.

Production at Blaydon will be restarted by the beginning of April. The site will initially process one million litres of milk a week, rising to two million litres during the summer months and three million within a year, said commercial director Terry Ziton.

The purchase means Medina now has three liquid milk processing sites around the country in addition to its 36 depots.

"Geographically, we've got a plant in the south and one in Yorkshire in terms of hauling milk over long distances, it gives us a better fit," said Ziton.

The acquisition was part of an ambitious plan to achieve 20% year-on-year turnover growth, taking it from £220m to £400m within five years, Ziton said. This would be achieved by exploring opportunities in other product areas, making further acquisitions, improving distribution and moving into new sectors, he added. "We do need more processing facilities and I'm sure that [Blaydon] won't be our last."

Ziton also revealed Medina had imminent plans to launch a new brand manufactured at Blaydon. Initially a liquid milk brand, it could be extended to other dairy products, he said, adding that supply of local milk to supermarkets was another area Medina planned to explore further.

The plant and equipment at Blaydon was generally in good condition as it had been the best invested of all of the DFB sites, claimed Ziton. Medina would nonetheless invest up to £2m further over the course of the year.

Medina is currently recruiting 50 new staff and looking to have 150 in place by the time the site reaches the planned three million litre capacity mark.