An investment of more than £600,000 is expected to create 20 new jobs in Fraserburgh through the creation of a new fish processing factory.
Seafood Sourcing Ltd is allocating the money to develop one of the buildings previously occupied by Young’s Seafood at the town’s harbour.
A £307,000 grant from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and Scottish Government will meet 50 per cent of the costs of the new project which aims to supply European markets with Scottish whitefish.
Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy secretary announced the funding ahead of the conclusion of the annual fisheries negotiations.
He said: “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.
“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, Seafood Sourcing Ltd director, said the company is grateful for the Scottish Government’s backing which he said would help to provide a further opportunity for the export of quality Scottish seafood.
He continued: “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 inhouse training on quality standards to ensure our staff are trained to the highest standard for the production of fillets.”