The Oban Times - - Community News -

A NEW oys­ter farm on Barra has re­ceived al­most £ 500,000 sup­port from High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise (HIE) to help ex­pand the busi­ness.

Traigh Mhor Oys­ters is a joint ven­ture be­tween fam­ily- owned food group AP Jess and Isle of Barra Oys­ters Lim­ited.

HIE has awarded the busi­ness £490,000 to help buy new equip­ment and add to its six staff. The farm’s six mil­lion oys­ter ca­pac­ity could also be in­creased by an ex­tra four mil­lion.

A spokesman for HIE said AP Jess had ac­quired a 70 per cent stake in the ven­ture. The three peo­ple be­hind Isle of Barra Oys­ters, broth­ers Ger­ard and Martin Mac­Don­ald and Don­ald Macleod, each re­tain a 10 per cent stake in the new busi­ness.

The com­pany now em­ploys six full-time mem­bers of staff, com­pared with three on a part-time ba­sis when the firm was founded in 2009.

Traigh Mhor Oys­ters is in­vest­ing in stock and new equip­ment as it gears up to meet de­mand from Scot­land and else­where in the UK.

HIE high­lighted plans by the com­pany, as oys­ter pro­duc­tion grew, to ex­plore in­ter­na­tional mar­kets such as France, Spain and coun­tries in the Far East. The agency noted that de­mand for live shell­fish was grow­ing in these over­seas mar­kets.

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