By FWi staff

FARMER-RUN co-op United Milk expects its processing plant to be running by October, 2001, says chief executive Don Morris,

Plans were submitted for approval last Friday (13 May), and will be discussed at a planning meeting on 13 July.

The proposed 30-acre site near Westbury, Wiltshire has already been designated for development.

“We are already part-way there and I am fairly confident about the outcome,” adds Mr. Morris.

A 35 million funding package has been confirmed by the Bank of Scotland, and the equity bid to raise money from farmers goes out tonight (18 May).

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“Since the launch we have been giving a lot of presentations to members and prospective members. The feedback has been extremely positive and we are optimistic about raising the 20m by the deadline of 20 June.

“The site for the new plant is in an ideal location, lying in the heart of UMs high-demand milk field,” said Mr Morris.

Other key influences in the decision were plans for a new rail freight terminal at Westbury and a planned outer western bypass.