TWENTY jobs are expected to be created through the creation of a new fish processing operation in Aberdeenshire.
Seafood Sourcing is investing £614,000 in one of the buildings previously occupied by Young’s Seafood at Fraserburgh Harbour.
Two years ago, more than 600 people lost their jobs in Fraserburgh when Young’s lost a major salmon processing contract to rivals Marine Harvest. The loss was reported to have cost Young’s tens of millions of pounds.
But now a £307,000 grant from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the Scottish government will meet 50 per cent of the costs of the new project, which aims to supply European markets with Scottish white fish.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing (pictured) announced the funding ahead of the conclusion of the annual fisheries negotiations.
‘This funding will transform a site that’s been vacant for some time into a fantastic new processing factory creating valuable jobs for the north east,’ he said.
‘This type of investment in our onshore sector is crucial for the growth of our seafood industry. It will enable the company to add value to the fish landed in Scotland and target a range of new markets across the world, supporting Scotland’s ambition to double the value of the food and drink industry.
‘Complex science, lack of agreement on some stocks, together with the lack of clarity on the post Brexit transition period has led to a period of uncertainty for the industry.
‘As we approach December Council I must be clear, the Scottish government is firmly focused on getting a deal that best serves the interests of the fishing industry, both onshore and offshore.’
Derek Hutchins, director at Seafood Sourcing, said: ‘I am grateful to the Scottish government for approving this grant to Seafood Sourcing, which will create new jobs in Fraserburgh and provide a further opportunity for the export of quality Scottish Seafood.
‘As part of phase one for the first year of the project we are in talks to bring in a fish trainer specialising in all types of hand filleting fish. We see a need to bring back these skills as there’s huge market potential out there for these products.
‘We will also be doing some in-house training on quality standards to ensure our staff are trained to the highest standard for the production of fillets’