THE closure of an award-winning creamery and one of Britain's oldest cheddar makers is to cause the loss of nearly 100 jobs.

Cheese production at Arla's Llandyrnog Creamery is to come to an end which is set to leave 97 people across the region out of work.

The closure comes as the Denmark-based dairy retailer Arla Foods looks to make cost-saving structural changes.

Tomas Pietrangeli, managing director Arla Foods UK, said: “The proposal to stop production at Llandyrnog, I hope, will be temporary, as we continue to explore other potential production opportunities for the site, but it is too early to make any longer term commitments.

"We know this proposal will be hard to hear for the award-winning Llandyrnog team, however it enables us to not only drive efficiencies but also retain ample capacity to meet the needs of our customers, whilst helping to improve returns to our farmer owners through a higher milk price.

"We recognise that this will be a difficult time for all our colleagues and our priority right now is to support them to manage this situation as best we can. We will now be entering full consultation with all our colleagues affected and their trade union or colleague representatives.”

Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, said the job losses have "blown a hole in the economy of the Vale of Clwyd".

Full story in the Denbighshire Free Press tomorrow.