Work on the building of a new £20 million state-of-the-art abattoir and meat processing plant at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, is set to start in early June – and scheduled to be complete by autumn next year.
Pete Watson, chairman of the farmers’ co-op ANM Group Ltd, delivered the news at the group’s annual general meeting.
The new abattoir, to be built by leading Bridge of Allan-based meat processor Scotbeef, major suppliers to Marks and Spencer, will be the first development in the group’s expanded Thainstone Business Park.
“It’s been a long haul and has taken six or seven years to get us to this stage,” said Mr Watson.
“The preparation of the site will be completed next month, which will enable work on the building of the new abattoir to start.
“The completion of the new meat plant will be a big hit for the agricultural community of the north-east.”
The existing North Street abattoir, run by Scotbeef Inverurie, in which ANM Group has a 25% stake, will be sold by the group when the new meat plant opens, along with the adjoining site, which was also previously home to an abattoir which has already been demolished.
Reporting on the group’s financial performance for the year ended December 31 2018, Mr Watson said members should be proud of the group’s achievements, which had resulted in a satisfactory profit – although down on the year – in a challenging year which had seen inclement spring weather followed by a summer drought which had hit farmers hard.
Despite a fall in trading profit to £498,000 compared with £572,000 in 2017, members’ confidence in the group had been demonstrated by an increase of £500,000 in investment, taking total shareholders’ funds to a record £6.5m and total assets to £27.5m.
Chief executive Grant Rogerson said all businesses within the group had made a profit with the non-agricultural auction division, Thainstone Specialist Auctions, the land and property agency Aberdeen and Northern Estates, the group’s property interests and the Porterhouse Restaurant at Thainstone and associated events business all performing well.
He said: “Although we face an extraordinary time of change, the group is strategically well placed for the future at the centre of the north-east’s rural economy.”