Salmon producer receives £1.28 million Scottish Enterprise grant for R&D support

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Scottish Sea Farms is to receive £1.28 million in research and development support from Scotland’s main economic development agency.

In a press release the salmon producer said that the funds will assist Scottish Sea Farms in its latest research and development drive – worth a total of £18.3 million.

The R&D will focus on areas that cover renewable energy, recycling and data analysis. Furthermore the company want to establish conditions for optimum fish health and welfare at their new £48m RAS hatchery at Barcaldine in Argyll, set to open in 2019. Moreover, Scottish Sea Farms aim to develop humane slaughter processes at the company’s processing facilities in Oban and at Scalloway on Shetland.

The investment was welcomed by Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy Kate Forbes MSP during a visit to the new hatchery. She said: “Scotland has a thriving food and drink sector with salmon exports alone growing by 35 per cent during 2017, recognising the global reputation for our quality produce.

“Ensuring that the sector grows in a sustainable way remains a priority for us. It is great to see an ambitious and respected company like Scottish Sea Farms investing in innovation to improve environmental control, health issues and production efficiencies. I’d like to congratulate the company on raising the bar, and wish them every success on their sustainable growth journey.”

Kirsteen Binnie, who leads Scottish Enterprise’s engagement with the salmon farmer, added: “Scottish Sea Farms is already a national success story, employing more than 430 people across the country. Its hunger to farm evermore responsibly is driving forward this latest project – the first of its kind in the sector – which will not only create a state-of-the-art new hatchery in Barcaldine and create new jobs in Scotland, but also reinforces our strong, innovative and forward-thinking food and drink sector.

“We have worked intensively with the company since 2010, helping it deliver innovation, business improvements and international activity. During this time, we’ve seen it grow to become the second largest salmon producer in the UK. With this latest support, Scottish Sea Farms can continue to go from strength to strength and deliver its future ambition.”

Scottish Sea Farms’ Managing Director, Jim Gallagher added: “Researching and developing new approaches and technologies is key to ensuring that we continue raising the healthiest fish in the most responsible but also the most environmentally sustainable way, and this latest £18.3 million investment aims to advance our work in both areas.

“The £1.28 million support from Scottish Enterprise means that we will be able to do more of this planned R&D even sooner, accelerating both the innovation and the anticipated benefits for fish health and welfare and for the environment.