In 2018 SRUC was invited to undertake a Feasibility Study into a proposal to develop a Seafood Centre of Excellence (SSCE) to be based in Fraserburgh. This proposal emerged from the Fraserburgh Task Force that was set up by Scottish Government in response to recent job losses from the fish processing sector in the town and was seen as a way of both supporting the sector and helping to regenerate Fraserburgh.
The NE of Scotland has grown to become the largest centre for white fish, pelagic and shellfish processing in the UK in terms of employment and number of businesses. As such it is an important part of the local economy. The project was commissioned and funded by Aberdeenshire Council.
The proposal was to build a facility that would serve a number of purposes including: business skills and management training; state-of-the-art wet fish training facilities; a new product development facility; a kitchen and demonstration area; business incubator units; facilities to engage with school parties and the public; seafood and food related career information and job vacancies; business support services.
SRUC gathered opinions and information from a wide range of relevant local and national businesses, organisations and stakeholders as well as undertaking desk research into similar facilities in other places before giving the client with a written report and presenting the results of the study to a stakeholder meeting.
Derek McDonald, Economic Development, Aberdeenshire Council: “Paul and his team engaged with a very extensive range of consultees to inform their findings, including fish producer organisations, ports, seafood processors, logistics companies, colleges, universities and private sector training providers, trade associations, development agencies and Scottish Government. Throughout the term of the contract Paul maintained close contact with the council to ensure that the methodology employed by SAC Consulting matched the procurement specification and that the project outputs met our expectations.”