FORMER workers of a Wrexham dairy company are being offered a “lifeline” by a Flintshire firm.

The Leader reported earlier this week how Tomlinsons Dairies went into administration after refusing to take farmers’ milk over the weekend.

Now 2 Sisters Food Group, which is based on Deeside has come forward with more than a hundred vacancies and plans to fast track former Tomlinsons workers through the interview process.

Steve Davies, operations manager at 2 Sisters, said: “We have about 120 permanent, full time vacancies in food processing.

“We process chickens but there are all kinds of roles including packing, dispatch and preparation.

“There are shifts to suit everyone as well. We saw what happened and we thought we could offer a lifeline, especially this close to Christmas.

“We’ll start interviewing immediately and if they say they’re from Tomlinsons we can fast track them.

“Anyone interested can call the site on 01244 535 155 and ask for Sue Tollerton, Sarah Rainsford, Amy Wilkinson in HR.

“Jobs are hard enough to come by as it is and we want to help.”

Tomlinsons Dairies also supplied milk to schools in Wrexham, one of which was Brynteg CP.

Head teacher Rachael Connell told the Leader: “We heard over the weekend that farmers were struggling. We still had milk on Monday and Tuesday but today (Wednesday) we have had none.”

She explained that the long-standing arrangement with Tomlinsons Dairies saw more than a hundred portions of milk provided free to phase one (nursery, reception, year one and year two) children a day.

“They also provided milk to for the catering staff for school meals,” Mrs Connell said.

“We went out and bought milk for our breakfast club, but in the day the children had water today instead of milk.

“I know the council has been working hard to find an alternative and we have had an email to say they have found a new provider and we have had the forms through to order.

“Our cooks are expecting a delivery tomorrow from the new supplier.”

Earlier this week, Wrexham dairy farmer Judith Morris said she - and other farmers - had been left to find a new company to send their milk to.

Following a meeting she attended with one of those possible companies, County Milk, she said: “We had the meeting and County Milk are picking up for us until we sort something out.

“We are looking at our options but we just don’t know who we are going to go with yet.

“We’re just trying to get along as best we can - we’re still just shocked.”

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said: “This is terrible news and a bombshell for hundreds of hard-working local employees and their families, as well as the farming community which is a key industry in Clwyd South.

“The Welsh Government has established a taskforce to work with the affected staff and is in talks with farming unions and other stakeholders.

“NFU Cymru has set up a helpline, so I would encourage members in my constituency to call 0370 845 8458 for advice.

“I am here to support the workers and will do whatever I can to help.”

Regarding the supply of school milk, a Wrexham Council spokesman said: “The council conducted a search for alternative suppliers, and the supply of free school milk will resume soon.

“Schools were advised to make their own arrangements for milk in the interim.”