A NEW cheese factory has won numerous awards at an agricultural show.
Hartington Creamery, which opened last year in Pike Hall, gained two golds, two silvers, a bronze, and an overall winning trophy at this year's Bakewell Show.
Adrian Cartlidge and Alan Salt, both of Leek, had worked at Hartington Creamery, which closed in 2009, for more than 25 years.
Following redundancy the men decided to use their knowledge of the industry and keep cheese-making alive in the area by opening their own production unit They then gained a licence to bring back the production of the famous Stilton cheese brand to Hartington, and opened up a creamery of the same name at Pike Hall near Hartington in October last year.
Adrian and Alan joined forces with Garry and Claire Millner, who own a cheese shop in Hartington and live at Reapsmoor, near Longnor.
They were also joined in the new project by Simon Davidson, who also owns a cheese shop, in Chesterfield.
With the support of several organisations and a £80,000 grant from Defra, a £450,000 investment project was started last year to build a production unit with new equipment.
Now the company has won six awards in total at the Bakewell Agricultural Show.
They were: Gold in the Whole Blue Cheese Category for their Peakland Blue, which also won the overall Best Blue Millway Foods Trophy; Gold for their Peakland White with Cranberry and Orange Peel in the Sweet Additive Category; Silver for Peakland White in the Single Crumbly Category; Silver in the Savoury Additive Category with their Smoked Tomato and Garlic blended with Peakland White; and Bronze for the Single Vegetarian Category with their Peakland Blue.
Adrian said: “This is the third show we have entered, and the first one we also won awards at. It was good that it was a local show.” Hartington Creamery currently employs five people, but with their growing success Adrian said that there is scope to employ even more people in the future.
He said: “Winning awards such as these gives us a little bit of incentive and helps us to believe we are going in the right direction.” Hartington Creamery was originally opened in Hartington in 1876 and at its height employed 200 people.
It was shut down in 2009 after owner Dairy Crest sold it to rival Long Clawson, which then moved its cheese production to an urban site outside the National Park.