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, which is set 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 sites.

The closure is part of Arla's strategy "to further enhance operational efficiencies across the entire business", it said in a statement.

Arla said it was consulting with staff and union representatives over redundancies. The processor would look to find staff alternative employment, a spokeswoman added.