A DAIRY is opening its first distribution depot in the North-East as part of plans to expand into the region to meet the rising demand for doorstep milk deliveries.

Family business McQueens Dairies Ltd, which operates across the North and parts of Scotland, has officially opened the new depot in Stockton.

It has created 13 jobs and means the company will now be offering milk delivery to customers in Stockton and the surrounding areas.

The depot will be the fifth facility the company, which is based in Scotland, has in England and the first in the North-East.

The company, which specialised in doorstep deliveries, was founded in 1995 by company chairman Mick McQueen and his wife Meg and now operates distribution depots in Scotland and the North, employing hundreds of staff including the couple’s five children who hold senior positions within the business.

The new 4,500sqft depot at North Tees Industrial Estate has employed 13 members of staff so far.

Ruairidh McQueen, from McQueens Dairies, said: “Our new Stockton-on-Tees distribution centre is our fifth in the north of England and will join our busy depots in Mansfield, Huddersfield, Warrington and Preston.

“Demand for doorstep deliveries has been increasing for some time now and since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country we have seen demand increase further as customers looked for safer and reliable food delivery services and our decision to open this new depot reflects that demand.”

Chris Norton, the depot manager for the Stockton facility, said: “It is exciting for all of the new depot and delivery staff who are delivering fresh milk daily to our customers’ doorsteps, and for McQueens Dairies to become part of the Stockton-on-Tees and County Durham community.”

In addition to milk products, the company also delivers orange juice, apple juice and free-range eggs which customers can order using the company’s online ‘shop’ or by calling its customer call centre.

Mr McQueen added: “Our customers are at the heart of our business and are who make the business the success it is.

“We still deliver to people who have been customers since we started 25 years ago are committed to giving every customer, old and new, the very best service and product in the market.”

Companies offering milk deliveries have reported seeing rocketing demand since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with some launching recruitment drives in a bid to meet growing numbers of new customers during lockdown.

For more information visit www.mcqueensdairies.co.uk.