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Peterhead’s Thistle Seafoods takes control of fish processing facility from administrators

Inside the production area at Thistle Seafoods. Photo by Paul Glendell
Inside the production area at Thistle Seafoods. Photo by Paul Glendell

Thistle Seafoods has taken over a fish processing plant in South Lanarkshire following the collapse of its owner a few months ago.

The Peterhead-based company saved 40 jobs at the facility in Uddingston after Dawnfresh Seafoods, one of the UK’s largest producers and processors of fish and seafood, went into administration in February.

Thistle Seafoods, which is one of the largest family-owned manufacturers of seafood in Europe, has ambitious plans to develop the site into an advanced added-value seafood processing and distribution centre.

Thistle Seafoods in Boddam
Thistle Seafoods in Boddam. Photo by Jim Irvine.

The factory extends to over 100,000 sq ft and includes a large industrial unit with processing, warehousing, administration and cold store facilities together with an extensive range of plant and equipment.

The amount paid for the site was undisclosed.

Dawnfresh was owned by one of Scotland’s richest men, billionaire businessman Alastair Salvesen, when it fell into administration.

The facility in Uddingston near Glasgow employed 200 when its parent company collapsed, and had been earmarked for closure last September when the Dawnfresh group announced plans to shut facility and expand operation in Arbroath.

Dawnfresh’s iconic Arbroath smokies business RR Spink and Sons was snapped up by Lossie Seafoods, saving 249 jobs in the Angus facility.

Another company, Dawnfresh Farming, which operates seven fish farms in Northern Ireland and Scotland, including a site on the Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore, continues to trade solvently and will be formally marketed for sale in the coming months, administrators said.

New strategy for Thistle

Thistle Seafoods said the new site will complement its existing processing facilities in Peterhead and underpins its strategy to develop a  “sea-to-plate” seafood processing business based in Scotland but with a customer base expanding across the UK and all major international markets.

Thistle Seafoods managing director Ryan Scatterty
Thistle Seafoods managing director Ryan Scatterty.

Thistle Seafoods managing director Ryan Scatterty said: “The acquisition of the Uddingston facility is an ideal fit for our business as it will provide us with a strategic processing, storage and distribution hub with ready access to the key transport networks to better serve our domestic customers.

“It will also allow us to further expand our product offering and capitalise on our fast-growing export markets.

“We are delighted to welcome an extra 40 staff to our business and plan to recruit further this year as we build our business.”

Callum Carmichael, partner with FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said  Thistle is “very well placed to integrate the site and facilities into their own fast-growing business”.

He added: “It is also particularly rewarding that the deal also includes the transfer of 40 employees.”

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