Young’s: Politicians question UK state aid

The Young's Seafood factory in Fraserburgh
The Young's Seafood factory in Fraserburgh

Buchan politicians have written to the UK Government seeking clarification over funding made available for Young’s Seafood by an English county council.

MP Eilidh Whiteford and MSP Stewart Stevenson have questioned the £1.34 million package by North-East Lincolnshire Council on whether it falls foul of EU regulations on state aid.

Eilidh Whiteford said: “It’s of paramount importance that Fraserburgh be in no way disadvantaged in this process.

“The reported offer of £1.34 million is lacking in detail and in the context of what we know about state aid rules, would appear highly dubious.”

Stewart Stevenson added: “It is astonishing that, to date, I have yet to be contacted by any UK Government representative or official to offer assistance in maintaining employment in Fraserburgh.

“Instead, their focus appears to have been on providing an incentive for a business to move jobs out of Scotland and into England. The Minister has some serious questions to answer and I await his response with interest.”

If accessed the £1.34 million package would benefit the Young’s factory in Grimsby and further harm the Fraserburgh branch.

The English council’s funding forms part of their Regional Growth Fund put in place by the UK Government’s Business, Innovation and Skills Departement (BIS).

A BIS spokesperson said: “We have extended the North-East Lincolnshire’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme which will give Young’s the opportunity to bid for a RGF grant.

“Any funding will be subject to rigorous assessment against state aid and the RGF value for money criteria.”

Scottish Business Minister Fergus Ewing has also sought clarification on the matter.