Gael Force Group buys majority stake in boat builder to usher new era of Scottish steel feed barge manufacturing

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The Scottish manufacturer of concrete feed barges is makin the move into the boat building industry with 75% stake in Corpach Boatbuilding Company.

Corpach Boatbuilding Company has joined Gael Force Group in a move to strengthen the West of Scotland’s boat building industry and see the introduction of steel feed barge building on the West coast. To date, most steel feed barges are currently manufactured outside the UK in Eastern Europe.

Most steel feed barges are currently manufactured outside the UK in Eastern Europe.

In a press release, the company said that the latest development will be viewed as a big opportunity for Scottish producers of farmed salmon to benefit from a home-built substitute to imported steel feed barges.

Gael Force Group Managing Director Stewart Graham commented, “We are delighted to welcome Corpach Boatbuilding Company as part of an expanding Gael Force Group. Throughout our discussions it was clear we share the same motivation for close customer collaboration with an aim to deliver outstanding quality in product and service. We look forward to working with our colleagues at Corpach to grow the existing business as a first-class boat builder and achieve our long term objective of offering an innovative Scottish built substitute to imported steel barges. Additionally we see this development as strategically critical to Scotland’s boat building and servicing capability and also for Lochaber’s exciting development plans too.”

Corpach’s Marine Development Manager Donald Hind said, “This is an exciting milestone for our business, and one which promises to give rise to new opportunities for both Corpach and Gael Force. We are hugely excited by the product and workforce development opportunities this deal presents and look forward to strengthening the relationship we have already established. We are very confident that by sharing our skills, expertise and experience we can grow our business and workforce, which will, in turn, deliver value to the markets we serve in support of our loyal customers.

The group said it will continue to support existing operations at Corpach (which has 22 employees) while progressing towards its long-term strategic objective to build a new range of steel feed barges for aquaculture customers, alongside its concrete barge building facility in Inverness.

Corpach Boatbuilding Company has specialised in the construction and repair of commercial boats together with other engineering and fish farm related services since its inception in 1992.