First Milk is planning to close its Maelor cheese packing plant near Wrexham by the end of May next year after losing an ASDA own-label contract.

The work done at Maelor could be done more economically on contract by another party, said a First Milk spokesman.

The ASDA business accounted for 61% of throughput at Maelor, which employs 231 people. However, cheese production was expanding and First Milk was confident of making up the lost business, he said.

“In terms of our creameries in Wales, England and Scotland, it is business as usual.

“There is increasing demand for good quality British cheddar and we currently supply a number of customers with bulk cheese which is then packed at third party facilities. In the event of the closure of Maelor, we have plans to extend these arrangements.

A consultation period with employees and their representatives will begin shortly.

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