£40m expansion at Dale Farm plant in Cookstown ‘on hold’

A £40m investment at the Dale farm plant in Cookstown is on hold because of delays in getting energy infrastructure to the west, it has been claimed.
Dale Farm plant in CookstownDale Farm plant in Cookstown
Dale Farm plant in Cookstown

David Dobbin, chief executive of Dale Farm, told the BBC that his firm wanted to invest in a project at the Dunman site

“We want to put a £40m investment into Cookstown. We’ve got Invest NI support, we’ve government support, we’ve got our planning - we can’t go,” Mr Dobbin said.

“We’re waiting now until gas comes, because the electricity [suppliers] can’t help us.”

Mr Dobbin also claimed Northern Ireland Electricity had suggested moving the Cookstown project to Ballymena, County Antrim, because there was “plenty of power there”.

“So that’s saying ‘move your investment from west of the [river] Bann to the east because that’s where our generators and that’s where our grid is’,” Mr Dobbin said.

“Economically we want to develop the west of the province and we’re there already and we’re creating valuable jobs, so it’s frustrating for us.”