Work be­gins on fish plant to boost north

Project cost was orig­i­nally pre­dicted to be £80mil­lion

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - Front Page - BY ANN MACK

WORK on a pi­o­neer­ing but con­tro­ver­sial fish feed plant is now un­der way, in an eco­nomic boost for the north.

Marine Har­vest is build­ing the fa­cil­ity at the Allt Anavig quarry at Kyleakin on Skye.

A to­tal of 55 full-time jobs will be created later this year as a re­sult of the de­vel­op­ment, bring­ing much needed jobs to the is­land.

The com­pany has con­firmed that the plant is due to be com­pleted by next au­tumn.

But the cost of the project has al­ready soared from £80mil­lion when it an­nounced the pre­ferred site for the plant last year to £93mil­lion.

Ian Black­ford, SNP West­min­ster leader and MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said the new jobs will also

bring ben­e­fits to other busi­nesses on Skye.

He added: “The new plant in Kyleakin shows the com­pany’s faith in and com­mit­ment to the lo­cal com­mu­nity, but also is a very wel­come eco­nomic boost to the area.

“The new jobs of­fer great op­por­tu­ni­ties for longterm em­ploy­ment with the ben­e­fits to other lo­cal busi­nesses which come with in­creas­ing pros­per­ity.”

When the plans were

“Work is pro­gress­ing and we will re­cruit the work­force later this year”

first un­veiled, some res­i­dents were con­cerned over the vis­ual im­pact of the new plant as it will in­clude build­ings 130feet high with a chim­ney stack more than 195ft tall.

But the ma­jor­ity of lo­cal coun­cil­lors felt that new jobs and a boost to the is­land’s econ­omy took prece­dence over other con­cerns.

The mul­ti­mil­lion-pound project is be­ing built by Robert­son Con­struc­tion and lo­cal com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives were in­vited to come along to the for­mer quarry to see for them­selves how work is pro­gress­ing so far.

Dani Stewart and Craig Glen­wright of Kyleakin Com­mu­nity Coun­cil were joined by Brian Easter of Kyle Com­mu­nity Coun­cil on a tour of the site.

Ben Had­field, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer feed and man­ag­ing direc­tor of Marine Har­vest Scot­land, said: “We were de­lighted to wel­come mem­bers of the lo­cal com­mu­nity coun­cils to the site to mark the start of con­struc­tion. Work is pro­gress­ing well and we will be start­ing to re­cruit the new work­force of 55 full-time po­si­tions later this year.”

David Cairns, man­ag­ing direc­tor, Robert­son Cen­tral, added: “This is a sig­nif­i­cant project for the com­pany and will see us cre­ate a state-of-the-art fish feed fa­cil­ity. Once com­plete, the plant will have a real pos­i­tive im­pact on both the lo­cal and wider econ­omy and we are thrilled to be part of such an ex­cit­ing project.”

Marine Har­vest de­cided that the quarry at Allt Anavig was ideal for the new plant be­cause of its close prox­im­ity to the sea, the fact that there was an ex­ist­ing pier which could be ex­tended and be­cause Skye is a cen­tral lo­ca­tion to its other sites in Scot­land, al­low­ing fish feed to be ef­fi­ciently de­liv­ered.

The project fol­lows the suc­cess­ful de­vel­op­ment of a sim­i­lar fa­cil­ity in Nor­way and, once up and run­ning, the Skye plant will also ex­port feed to the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions in Ire­land, Nor­way and the Faroe Is­lands.

Marine Har­vest (Scot­land) Ltd is the largest sal­mon farm­ing com­pany in the coun­try with four hatcheries, five fresh­wa­ter loch sites and 42 sea farms, sit­u­ated in the West­ern Isles, Skye, Ar­gyll, Wester Ross and Lochaber.

Live fish are har­vested at Mal­laig and pro­cessed at the Blar Mhor pro­cess­ing plant in Fort Wil­liam. The com­pany em­ploys more than 640 peo­ple at these sites.

OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES: An artist’s im­pres­sion of the plant, which will cre­ate 55 jobs

FLY­ING START: Paul Hap­pell, Robert­son and Chris Read get go­ing with the dig­ging on the site of the new fish plant

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.