Cromer Crab site and equipment to be sold by auction –

Cromer Crab site and equipment to be sold by auction Published:  17 September, 2012

THE Cromer Crab factory in North Norfolk and its processing equipment are up for auction later this month – finally bringing to an end years of large scale seafood production on the site.

The sale comes after Young’s Seafood closed the site earlier in the summer, just five years after it purchased the business. Over 200 people have lost their jobs.

The Bristol-based specialist food machinery auctioneers Clarke Fussells chose to advertise the sale on-line on the Fish Update website, which reaches out to the seafood and fishing industry both nationally and internationally.

The auction, in which bidding can also be made on-line up to 6pm the day before the sale, will be held at the Links Country Park Hotel and Golf Club, West Runton, Cromer on Wednesday September 26th (1 pm). Clarke Fussells, which provides a comprehensive range of services to the food processing industry, describes the site as a “complete modern fully-equipped food processing plant suitable for packing chicken products, vegetables, snack foods and seafood”. It adds that the site and equipment is Marks & Spencer approved and says the factory “was until very recently processing and packing crabs, lobsters and prawns”.

Interest in the equipment, which is some of the most modern in seafood processing, is certain to attract strong interest with both British and overseas processors bidding. Local people and businesses are hoping that whoever buys the site will restore some sort of seafood production in Cromer. It is understood local crab fishermen will continue to supply the factory.

Young’s bought the Cromer Crab Company from Newfoundland based Fishery Products International in July 2007. At that time it was achieving growth of 30 per cent a year with annual sales of some  £70million. But last year it ran into a loss situation and Young’s announced it planned to close it, moving production to Grimsby and Scotland. Immediately afterwards celebrities such as Delia Smith and Stephen Fry lent their support to a campaign to save the plant, but in the end it was to no avail. Redundancy notices were issued last December.