Wave of optimism for Wick seaweed firm
5th July 2016
The first batches of seaweed have been harvested and processed by a new food and drink business in Wick.
New Wave Foods has invested £240,000 at its newly fitted out premises on the Wick Industrial Estate with support of £60,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The company turns wild-harvested seaweeds into edible products.
A full-time harvesting and processing manager has already been recruited and two other new staff have been harvesting seaweed around the Caithness coast since April. Up to nine jobs will be created within three years.
The business also has potential to generate future export sales for the north's valuable food and drink sector.
Seaweed is a valued food ingredient in other parts of the world and the market for seaweed products is considered to have significant potential in the UK and Europe. Trends point towards healthy eating awareness and growing consumer sophistication.
Peter Elbourne from New Wave Foods said: "The clean cool waters off the north coast provides the ideal natural environment for high quality nutritious seaweed to grow. New Wave Foods is proud to have created a sustainable harvesting policy to enable us to utilise this resource, while ensuring we take care of the natural environment. Indeed, we are proud to have already gained organic accreditation for our seaweed."
"Our new processing facility in Wick has already been fully commissioned and is today busy processing locally harvested species of seaweed. With increasing demand for seaweed stretching across many sectors of the food industry, we look forward to growing the business from our Wick base substantially in the coming months and years."
HIE's assistance has been provided towards harvesting equipment and refitting the factory unit to the necessary standards.
Keith Muir, HIE’s Head of Business Growth for Caithness and Sutherland added:
“New Wave Foods will make a significant contribution to the prosperity of the Wick area by providing local jobs where few alternatives currently exist.
“I’m encouraged to see this company establishing a new, innovative industry in the area. This helps support the aims of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership to build a strong and diverse economy.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of business and sector development. Originally from County Durham, David Oxley joined the organisation in 2004 as head of operations in Lochaber before moving to Forres with his wife and son in 2011 to take up the role of area manager in Moray.
The development of Inverness Campus moves another step forward with tenders being invited to build a second life science building. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading on the development of the campus.
Aerospace and defence sector opportunities in the region highlighted at event Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to a free workshop to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries. It will be held in at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus on Tuesday 26 September 2017 The event is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and ADS Scotland which is the Scottish branch of the aerospace, defence, security and space industry trade organisation, ADS.
Over 250 community leaders from across Scotland will meet in Aviemore today and tomorrow (21-22 September) at a national conference to look at the impact and future role of community-led development on Scotland's social and economic fortunes. The event, hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported by the Scottish Government, brings together community groups, academia and experts to discuss the vital contribution communities make to Scotland and consider how to support their continuing and increasing ambitions.
Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has just announced over £660K of funding for 13 new projects aiming to develop innovative control systems for wave energy converters. This initiative brings together control systems specialists from mature sectors such as aerospace and oil and gas, to work with Scottish technology developers in addressing the challenges of controlling and integrating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) systems and their components.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is offering its clients across the region support to protect themselves from cyber attacks, by launching the Cyber Strong business project. Co-inciding with Digital Leaders Cyber Resilience Week (11-15 September 2017), the agency is launching a programme to help local businesses and social enterprises achieve national Cyber Essentials accreditation.
Food and drink businesses looking to grow through innovation are encouraged to register for a free workshop which takes place in Inverness on 31 August. The event will focus on the new ‘Make Innovation Happen' service which provides a single access point for all innovation support to the Scottish food and drink industry.
Twenty-three Scottish companies are travelling to Norway this week to highlight the country's expertise at the world's largest aquaculture technology exhibition. Aqua Nor 2017 gets under way in Trondheim on Tuesday (15 August 2017), and runs until Friday (18 August 2017).
The successful North Coast 500 tourist route will need strong co-ordinated support from the public sector to ensure its long term sustainability. Experiences of the initiative should also be shared with groups around the country looking to develop similar projects.
The North Coast 500 (NC500) tourist route, launched in 2015, has had a positive impact on both visitor numbers and business trade. This is according to a new report commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
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