The UK’s largest milk processing facility is set to stay in farmer control following the finalisation of a deal to save the plant.

Westbury Dairies, a joint venture between the Dairy Farmers of Britain, First Milk and Milk Link, sealed a deal with the receivers to lease the Westbury milk plant following the collapse of previous owners United Milk. A spokeswoman said: “We are delighted to confirm that Westbury will stay in farmer control. The deal marks a milestone for the UK dairy industry.”

Each of the co-operatives is putting in an initial investment of between £1m and £2m each and has committed to supply milk year-round.

The lease was agreed, with break clauses every five years up to a maximum of 20 years.

And with the deal complete, new direct supply contracts will come into force. Producers will be paid a milk price based on the average published
price of the three co-operatives. Interest free loans will also be provided to producers to cover monies unpaid by United Milk.

NFU milk chairman Terrig Morgan said: “Considering the situation little more than two months ago, this is a very good result for all the producers involved and the industry in general.”