Grimsby fish plant shuts for second time; 17 jobs lost –

Grimsby fish plant shuts for second time; 17 jobs lost Published:  24 October, 2007

Ian Botham originally opened the site 14 years ago

THE firm, which took over the former Seabay Quickfish factory at Grimsby earlier this year, has closed its doors after just five months of trading. Around 17 staff have lost their jobs.

The parent company, Focus Technical Services, which operated under the name 7 Seas Foods Ltd was thought to have had Icelandic financial backing after it reopened in May.

Norwegian owned Seabay ceased operations in January after 30 years of continuous trading with the loss of around 100 jobs: a search immediately started to find a new occupant. At the time, the business recovery firm, Jackson Joliffe Cork, said it has received a large number of inquiries from potential buyers and finally struck a deal with 7 Seas Foods.

Later, 7 Seven Seas Foods, described at the time of the takeover as being cash rich, took on a small number of staff – most of them former Seabay workers and said they planned to build up the business with a variety of processing and fish trading operations.

This latest blow was broken to staff yesterday by a Leeds firm of accountants acting as liquidators and added that the owners had been trading under difficulties and had been forced to close the business. The liability of the business also exceeded its assets.

However, the problem is thought to be solely with the company rather than any general recession in the fish processing business, although prices are high and supplies tight. One seasoned Grimsby processor said: “The news is hardly surprising – it is a large factory, which has large overheads and the place needed updating if it was going to pay its way.”

Until the beginning of the year, Seabay was part of the larger Norwegian Sjovic group and its customers included a number of leading French and European supermarkets. The North Wall factory and cold store was totally rebuilt and modernised about 14 years ago, when it was officially opened by England cricketing legend Ian Botham. The liquidators may yet try to find another occupant for what is now a troubled site. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.