Lactalis McLelland in Stranraer job cut plans

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Lactalis McLelland, owner of the Seriously Strong cheddar brand, is considering cuts to its workforce in Stranraer.

Up to 17 staff are said to be facing redundancy as the firm comes under pressure to trim its costs amid fierce price competition among supermarkets.

One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “We’ve been told that those taking voluntary redundancy will get two weeks’ pay for every year they’ve been here, but they’ll only get one-and-a-half weeks if it goes to compulsory.”

The worker, who has been with the company for more than ten years, estimated it employs about 100 people in the town.

He added: “I would say the creamery is the biggest employer here and this would be a massive blow.

“The whole place is devastated and this is the last thing that Stranraer needs.” Lactalis McLelland grew its pre-tax profits to £5.3 million in 2011, from £3.1m the previous year. McLelland was sold to French group Lactalis in 2004 by Hugh Irvine and his sons, Alastair and Douglas, in a deal believed to have been worth £150m.

A spokesman said last night: “There might be some redundancies but there may also be some jobs created in other parts of the business, so we cannot confirm numbers at this time.”