Arla UK, the country’s largest dairy co-operative, has created 50 jobs at its site in Settle, Yorkshire, as the production of its Lactofree milk moves from Denmark and Sweden to the UK as part of a new £25 million investment.

The new jobs will be created in frontline roles across production, warehouse management and quality control, with half of them already being filled by people from the local area and a further 25 to be recruited over the next two to three years. A significant proportion of the investment is also being put towards new production equipment, filling lines, packaging facilities and a new energy centre, which will improve the overall efficiency of the site.

Settle’s production capacity will double because of the investment, with Arla producing its full range of lactose free milk products at the site.

According to recent figures, the ‘free from’ dairy category was worth just £392,598,000 in 2017 and has risen in value by 93% to be worth £756,061,000 as of April 2021 – with the industry’s value to double again by 2026.

Arla UK’s Managing Director, Ash Amirahmadi, said: “We are particularly pleased to start the production of our Lactofree ranges in Settle, where we’ve had a presence for more than 40 years. As a business with its UK headquarters in Yorkshire, we are delighted to be investing back into our home county and supporting local rural communities.”