Dairy firm unveils major expansion, creating 100 jobs

From left: Calum McQueen (commercial director), Mick McQueen (chairman) and Ruairidh McQueen (sales director). Picture: Chris James.
From left: Calum McQueen (commercial director), Mick McQueen (chairman) and Ruairidh McQueen (sales director). Picture: Chris James.
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A Glasgow-headquartered dairy group has announced a multi-million-pound expansion plan creating up to 100 jobs in the next two years – as it looks to boost its doorstep delivery.

McQueens Dairies, a family business founded in 1995 by chairman Mick McQueen and his wife Meg, has unveiled the plans that involve the purchase of the former Muller dairy facility in East Kilbride.

The business now operates eight distribution depots in Scotland and the north of England, and a dairy in Glasgow, also pointing out that it has reached capacity at the latter site.

McQueens opened its latest depot in Galashiels in May, and now has 400 members of staff with the couple’s five children holding senior positions in the business.

It added that the new 6.5-acre dairy site in East Kilbride will allow it to accelerate its ambitions for growth in the doorstep delivery sector. The new facility, which is expected to open in spring 2020, will “significantly” boost the business’s overall expansion.

Mick McQueen said: “We’re an ambitious business that delivers milk direct to customers’ doors and want to build on the success we’ve achieved so far. In the last year, we grew turnover by 30 per cent and we expect that increase to be repeated this year so the new dairy in East Kilbride, which is larger than our current dairy, gives us a real platform to maintain that momentum.”

He added that the success of the firm to date has come from focusing on demand for doorstep delivery in Scotland and the north of England – and sees real scope to grow this activity.

McQueens has more than 100,000 milk delivery customers in these regions, served by distribution depots in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy, Galashiels, Mansfield, Huddersfield, Warrington and Preston.

Returning to the newest expansion plan, McQueen added: “Our current dairy and distribution centre in the M8 Food Park in the north of Glasgow has reached capacity and doesn’t afford us any more scope to expand, so the move to a purpose-built dairy, just 12 miles away and still within easy reach of our tens of thousands of customers, makes perfect sense.

“We will be using the dairy in a different way to how it was used before, which was predominantly to produce flavoured milk and potted cream.”

McQueen also said the firm will focus on processing liquid milk plus orange and apple juices, “so a large part of our investment will be in modern dairy technology, including new refrigeration plant, pasteurising equipment, and a filler line that includes glass bottles which are having a resurgence with our customers”.

Its expansion will also see Paisley-based First Milk deliver more raw milk to the firm. First Milk commercial director Fraser Brown said: “We look forward to continuing our milk supply partnership with McQueens.”