Lanchester Dairies, the largest independent dairy in the North East, is under new ownership after the company’s entire shareholding was acquired by two of its four founders, husband and wife Billy and Julie Austin.


The Austins are now sole shareholders of the dairy, in Lanchester, Co Durham, after buying out co-owners Geoff and Sandra Austin, with whom they founded the dairy busiuness as a diversification from the family dairy farm in 1992.

The dairy business now buys and processes in more than 20m litres of milk annually from local farmers in Durham and the Tyne Valley. It has 64 staff and a £14m turnover, supplying milkmen, shops, supermarkets, food manufacturers, cafes, pubs, restaurants and nursing homes.

The dairy is also the Asda hub in the North East, supplying local products to the supermarket’s stores.

“Our plan now is to continue to grow by concentrating on the quality of our milk, our high standards of service and by winning more corporate business although, as a family enterprise, we will never lose sight of the small shops and milkmen who have remained so important to us for the past 19 years,” said Mrs Austin.