A GROUP of farmers have launched a rescue bid to save a creamery that produces a world-famous Scottish cheese.

This week they have set up a crowdfunder to help them to buy Campbeltown Creamery, which makes Mull of Kintyre cheddar, in the belief that it will close without a community buyout. The creamery has been producing cheese since 1923 and Mull of Kintyre cheddar since the 1970s.

Owner First Milk put it on the market last year but a sale fell through. The 29 farmers who make up the Mull of Kintyre Milk Supply Co-operative, are aiming to buy the creamery and the Mull of Kintyre cheddar brand with the help of a £50,000 crowdfunding campaign. By yesterday afternoon, pledges had passed the £10,000 mark.

Other funding will come from a levy from every litre of milk produced and from external sources.

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A Highlands and Islands Enterprise survey in 2015 found that the dairy farming sector in the Kintyre Peninsula and nearby Gigha contributes £3.2 million a year to the local economy. It supports 117 farm jobs and another 49 indirectly across Kintyre.

Farmer Thomas Cameron, said: “We are currently facing a huge and exciting opportunity with a clear mission – to secure the future of the Campbeltown Creamery for the benefit of the Kintyre community. We will also be in a position to save a well-known brand and contribute to Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink. Mull of Kintyre cheddar is said to be enhanced by the Angel’s Share of whisky that remains in the creamery building from its past life as a distillery.

“The multi award-winning cheese is made with milk that all comes from within a 15-mile radius and from farms that are committed to securing their land for future generations.

“Dairy farms in the area need the creamery in order to thrive and given the challenges of sustaining a vibrant economy in this remote part of Scotland, the role of the dairy sector in Kintyre is fundamental to its success. Our farmers are young, enthusiastic and are committed to sustainability, investment and the next generation.”

The group has produced a video which highlights the importance of the creamery and the Mull of Kintyre brand. See www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mokcheddar