THE news that the internationally-known brand Dorset Cereals is moving to Poole has been hailed as a boost for the town.

But the president of Poole Chamber of Trade and Commerce has said the news is “bittersweet” because of the blow to Poundbury, where the company has been based for 20 years.

Dorset Cereals – which employs 115 people – plans to move its factory to a custom-built, £5.5million unit on the Ryvita site at Poole.

Both brands are part of Associated British Food (ABF), which bought Dorset Cereals from Wellness Foods in 2014.

The company said it hoped as many staff as possible would move to the Poole site and that its long-term hope was to create more jobs.

Anthony Ford, a business consultant as well as Poole Chamber president, said: “It’s bitter sweet. I deal with a lot of businesses in Dorchester and Weymouth.

“It’s great news for Poole, not so great for Dorchester, but it’s good that they’re staying in the county.”

He added; “Poole is going to benefit because there’s going to be a £5.5million investment and it will potentially create more jobs.”

Dorset Cereals produced 10 tonnes of cereal a day, with five recipes, when it moved to Poundbury in 2000. It now makes 75 tonnes a day with more than 60 recipes.

The move would be the fourth in the company’s history.

Andy Prudence, site manager at Dorset Cereals, said: “We’ve been on this site for 18 years and the growth in that time has been fantastic. We now want to ensure that we are fit for the future and can meet our growth aspirations for years to come, and we believe that moving to a bespoke facility in Poole would give us the added production capacity we need.

“This is really exciting news for the company but also quite a sensitive subject at the same time.”

The new facility is expected to improve efficiency, using machinery designed specifically for manufacturing Dorset Cereals.

ABF announced last year that it would build a sister Ryvita factory in Lincolnshire. It said: “We remain fully committed to making Ryvita products in Poole, as we have since 1948.”