An expansion by an Angus seafood firm, which will create 150 jobs, has been backed by almost £1 million by the Scottish Government.
Seafood producer Dawnfresh announced plans in September to close its factory near Glasgow and expand its Arbroath facility.
Dawnfresh bought the former Perimax building next door to its site at Kirkton Industrial Estate.
It will be turned into one production site with an investment of around £5m.
Around 150 new jobs will be added to the current Angus workforce of 180.
Meanwhile its Uddingston site, where 230 staff are based, will close.
Scottish Government funding
The plans have been supported by £960,208 from Marine Fund Scotland.
The £14m Scottish Government fund replaces the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund, which provided marine funding prior to the UK’s exit from the EU.
Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This money is promoting innovation in sustainable practices, allowing businesses to explore new markets and further automate processes to help mitigate staff shortages, and supporting our coastal communities.
“I am delighted for those organisations and individuals whose applications have been successful in this and previous rounds.”
Dawnfresh owns the historic brand RR Spink, which has operated from Arbroath since 1715.
The majority of its work is processing and packaging seafood for supermarkets.
It produces 10,000 tonnes of seafood a year across 350 product lines.
Angus seafood firm’s growth plans
Raleigh Salvesen, managing director for Dawnfresh Seafoods, said: “Our reorganisation will secure the future of over 300 seafood production jobs in Scotland and the future of the last major Scottish-owned seafood company.
“It is a complicated project but construction is continuing at our new site in Arbroath.
“We hope to complete the facility in mid-2022 and implement a plan to move all of the necessary equipment as soon as possible after that.”
Mr Salvesen said the investment would allow the firm to operate more efficiently in a competitive marketplace.
It aims to grow the tonnage of seafood it processes by 30% over the next five years.
Challenges to marine sector
Around £11m has been awarded to fishing businesses and marine organisations in coastal communities to date.
Ms Gougeon adds: “The Marine Fund Scotland will continue to be key in supporting sustainable development of Scotland’s blue economy.
“There is no doubt that Brexit has been a disaster for our marine-related industries and coastal communities.
“This has been compounded by the impact of the pandemic which saw key markets close almost overnight.”