UK-based independent cheese producer Wyke Farms has secured planning approval to rebuild its dairy facility in Bruton, Somerset, to double its capacity.

The company is carrying out development as part of a five-year plan for growth, which includes increasing brand presence in export markets in preparation for post-Brexit trade.

The 16,589m² production facility, to be called Ivy’s Dairy, will be energy and water efficient, as well as environment-friendly and feature soft landscaping and a natural grass roof.

Wyke Farms said that the investment will ensure a sustainable, long-term future and build sufficient infrastructure to meet the demand for cheese in the UK and export markets.

“We have seen strong and consistent sales growth in the UK and overseas despite the challenging retail landscape.”

The company, which claims to be the UK’s largest independent cheese producer and exporters, has based its growth plans on market prioritisation research.

Wyke Farms managing director Richard Clothier said: “Our strategy of selling into a growing export market has been very successful, it generates revenue that allows us to mitigate against the risks that a volatile dairy sector and a disrupted UK retail sector may bring.

“The new dairy is crucial to facilitate the growth and meet global demand.”

Wyke Farms recorded a 26% increase in turnover at £85m ($111.9m) for the year ended March 2018.

A company spokesperson said: “The company have concluded their market prioritisation research, the results of which have been used to develop the Wyke Farms five-year plan for growth, which includes increasing brand presence in export markets in preparation for post-Brexit trade and launching new export targeted products throughout 2019.

“We have seen strong and consistent sales growth in the UK and overseas despite the challenging retail landscape.”

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