FORTY jobs have been kept at a Whitland milk business after it was bought out of administration by Dairy Crest – the company which previously owned the town’s creamery before shutting it down in 1994.

The firm – one of the leading dairy products companies in the UK – has purchased the small specialist firm Proper Welsh Milk from its administrators for £325,000.

Proper Welsh Milk was created in 2011 and invested more than £1million in a new dairy on the site of the former Whitland Dairy Crest Creamery, whose closure 17 years previously, with the loss of 156 jobs, was a devastating blow to the town.

The business, which packs local milk for Tesco, Marks and Spencer and a number of other customers, has been hit by cashflow problems and went into administration on March 1st.

Dairy Crest’s chief executive, Mark Allen, said: “We are delighted to be the new owners of this business, which we believe has a bright future.

“Our priority is to maintain supply to customers, and use this modern dairy in a strong milk field to help us to develop new products, such as vitamin- enriched milk.

“We welcome the employees of Proper Welsh Milk to Dairy Crest, and look forward to working with them.”

Dairy Crest’s products include Cathedral City cheese, Country Life butter, Vitalite, Clover, St Ivel and Frijj. It is one of the country’s biggest milk buyers, but until now, all of its Welsh milk has been packed in England.

Proper Welsh Milk commented through its Facebook page: “It’s actually good news, as the move safeguards milk bottling here in Wales, as well as the jobs of our team here that bottle it.

“So will it make any difference? Well, no, not really. Same great Welsh milk bottled in Wales just as it has always been.”