A CHEESE firm is to let the public see its production facilities for the first time tomorrow to celebrate winning a legal battle.

Errington Cheese is offering members of the public the chance to visit its farm, as the business increases output.

Based in Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, company is recovering from a turbulent couple of years after a costly legal dispute with South Lanarkshire Council, which wanted to dispose of the small producer’s entire stock of cheese after a well-documented E.coli 0157 link.

Despite being cleared of breaching food hygiene regulations, sales have fallen to 25% of 2016 levels and the firm recently had to let go of its two remaining employees. The company is attempting to reclaim costly legal fees of around £350,000 from South Lanarkshire Council and is also in the process of agreeing compensation with the local authority for £260,000 worth of cheese seized that is no longer marketable – with the aim of reemploying staff.

Following the Sherriff Courts’ judgement, the council dropped its two summary applications in connection with the Dunsyre Blue made in 2016.

Errington is now opening its doors to the public to mark Saturday's Great British Cheese Day.

It will showcase its product range and let the public taste the first batch of Dunsyre Blue made with raw organic milk sourced from its new East Ayrshire sustainable supplier, Mossgiel Farm.

Selina Cairns, director at Errington Cheese said: “It has undoubtedly been the most difficult period in the company’s 36-year history, enduring an expensive legal battle which could have led to our demise.

“The courts ultimately ruled in our favour but even though we were completely cleared of breaching food hygiene regulations, the issue is far from resolved.

“The knock-on effect on the operation has been extremely detrimental, faced with a drop-in sales and the majority of cash reserves being ploughed into covering legal costs. We regrettably had to make staff redundant and are still fighting to reclaim fees from the local authority. This is essential if we are to re-employ our loyal workforce or get back to sustainable production and sales levels.”