The investment has been made possible through private equity firm Exponent’s strategic investment in the business, which was announced on 1 August.
The Peterborough site, which Meadow Foods acquired in 2009, houses its fresh ingredients division, where it manufactures more than 85,000t of cream, crème fraiche and yoghurt for foodservice and further processing.
The additional cash from Exponent has enabled the manufacturer to buy land adjacent to the current site, doubling its acreage there from 2.5 to 5 acres (2 hectares).
Meadow Foods said the expansion would allow it to increase its product capabilities and boost capacity by more than 60% to meet demand and enable it to develop new lines. A customer innovation centre, as well as improved employee facilities, would also be added, the company said.
A total of £3m was invested in the site last year to further automate the plant, increase capacity and improve efficiency, quality and service.
“The expansion of our factory at Peterborough is a key part of our strategic growth plans,” said Meadow Foods chief executive officer Mark Chantler. “We have doubled our sales volumes at Peterborough in the last five years and have added to our product range with the addition of fresh custards.
“This development is essential to meet demand and allow us to increase our product lines and capabilities. Bringing new investment and jobs to the area is also illustrative of our commitment to the region and the product range we make there.”
Meadow Foods is the UK’s largest independently owned dairy group and leading supplier of milk-based dairy ingredients to the food industry. It currently handles more than 650m litres of milk each year direct from over 650 farmer suppliers from across the north of England, Midlands and North & West Wales.
The company, which was founded in 1992, operates from factories in Chester, Peterborough and Holme-on-Spalding Moor and employs more than 300 people.