Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy in Scotland, visited Gael Force Group’s engineering facility in Inverness to congratulate the company on their single largest ever order.
The visit came after the firm’s announcement earlier this month, of the order Gael Force had secured to supply Marine Harvest Scotland with a series of 400T concrete feed barges with SeaFeed Offshore Feeding System.
Stewart Graham, Gael Force Group owner and managing director, gave the Cabinet Secretary a tour of the company’s engineering facility which is set to double in capacity to assist in accommodating an increased programme of barge builds over the coming two years, including that of barge build capacity for other Scottish salmon producers.
The company expects that the initial order will require the creation of around 20 new jobs, adding to the 43 staff who have already joined the company this year. They also anticipate that a minimum of another 12 jobs will be created in Gael Force’s own supply chain and the wider rural Highland economy.
The Cabinet Secretary, who works closely with the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group, underlined his commitment to further develop and growth of the supply chain in the sector.
“This major order from Marine Harvest is a demonstration of the value of the aquaculture sector to Scotland in terms of the overall economy and jobs created.”
Stewart Graham commented on that by saying: “We have created many new jobs this year and will continue to recruit on the back of this order. There are huge positive benefits to the wider rural economy and its communities and this order is a great example of that positive impact on the Highland economy.”
Gael Force Group currently employs 170 staff across the UK, the majority of whom are based in the Highlands and Islands.