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Seaweed Company Wins Development Grant

white plate with seaweed and avocado on it with chopsticks on the side

A seaweed processing company from the Outer Hebrides has been granted £659,000 by a development agency powered by the Scottish Government.

The company has now started work on a new expanded facility, set to cost £7 million.

Double the workforce

The Hebridean Seaweed Company is currently located at Arnish Point, near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. They supply markets around the world, despite having a small team of just 13 staff members.

Following the grant from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise agency, they are now looking to double that workforce to 26 people. You can keep an eye out for updates about jobs in the area by searching for food jobs here.

The company spokesperson stated that the new positions will be filled in order to support to growing demand for their products on an international scale. They will be able to make an investment into a new drier, which will be larger and more efficient than their current setup. They will also be putting in a liquid extract plant as well as a food-grade processing area.

On top of this, they want to add a new research and development department to help create new products and innovate within the seaweed market. The business said that they will be looking for a “highly skilled workforce” to staff this team. If you need advice on how to improve your chances of getting jobs like this, you can find some useful articles here.

Second grant

This is not the first grant that has been awarded to the Hebridean Seaweed Company. In fact, they had already been given £800,000 in December 2018. This money came from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and was given to help them fund the construction of the new factory.

Martin Macleod, co-founder of the business, said: “The Outer Hebrides has vast amounts of seaweed and we only use a percentage of it in close co-operation with the Crown Estate and other bodies. We look forward to growing the business from our Isle of Lewis base substantially in the coming months and years. We are delighted that HIE is supporting us in our venture and we look forward to working with them as we grow the business.”

Joanna Peteranna is the account manager for their Outer Hebrides area team. She said: “Seaweed is a valued food ingredient in parts of the world and the market for these products is growing worldwide with increasing healthy eating awareness. There is also great demand for seaweed in the medical and healthcare, animal feed, fertiliser and the rapidly growing biostimulant markets. The creation of new jobs at Arnish Point is great news, as the roles fit well with the highly-skilled labour pool in Lewis. We wish them all the best with the expansion project.”

Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Employability Minister, said: “Today’s funding announcement is great news for the local people and surrounding area, as it brings with it more jobs, investment, and the possibility for further development to the Isle of Lewis.”