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Offshore catering company wants to play role in revitalisation of city centre

Lee Kemp, left, and John Wigglesworth, of Celera Support Services.

A company that has specialised in international offshore catering services for a decade has launched a growth and diversification plan, from its new base in the centre of Aberdeen.

John Wigglesworth, owner of Celera Support Services, hopes its “six figure” investment in premises in Back Wynd, will help efforts to revitalise the heart of the city.

The company is aiming to increase the number of staff based there to 14 over the next two years.

It is planning to focus on daytime city centre hospitality, onshore corporate catering and offshore activity across the North Sea, the Middle East, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

Lee Kemp, who was Celera’s operations manager, has been appointed to the role of operations director to lead the growth strategy.

Mr Wigglesworth said: “Despite the pressures of 2020/21, we have continued to support clients across the Middle East and kept our international team employed.

“Now is the time to invest in both Aberdeen and the growth of Celera. With 30 years’ global offshore industry experience, Lee brings unrivalled industry knowledge, technical and strategic skills to drive Celera forward on both a domestic and international basis.”

Aiming for a healthy transition from home working

Mr Wigglesworth bought and invested in the Books and Beans coffee shop and second hand bookstore, in Belmont Street, last year.

He is also a co-founder of the Bonnymuir Green Community trust, which took over a disused bowling green in Aberdeen, through a community asset transfer, and transformed it into a market garden, community space and café.

He continued:  “As the co-founder and driver of the development of the Bonnymuir Green Community Trust – which has seen over 14,000 visits in 2021 – I have witnessed first-hand the physical and mental benefits brought by providing a safe, calm environment for relaxation, communication, individual thought and, indeed, consumption of good food.

“This is also what Books and Beans has always been about and we believe this can play a key part in facilitating a smoother, healthier transition from home working to office-based or hybrid models.

“As seen by the support for café culture on Belmont Street, including a 4,000-plus signature petition to keep the area pedestrianised, a vibrant daytime city centre drives people to visit Aberdeen and enjoy our lovely city; we all have a responsibility to make sure that happens.”

Celera is also bidding to lease one of three pavilions in the redeveloped Union Terrace Gardens, which have been designed to enhance the area with cafes, restaurants, or cultural spaces.   

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