A Devon-based fishing company is set to create a host of new jobs thanks to the creation of a new storage facility.
Coombe Fisheries has doubled its processing capacity thanks to a £4 million investment which has allowed it to build a seafood packing, freezing and storage centre in Barnstaple. The site, which is helping to create 27 jobs, boasts three blast freezers which gives the facility the capability of freezing 90 tonnes of seafood from five degrees C to -20 degrees C in just 20 hours.
The 21,000 m sq building includes a spiral and tunnel freezer along with a temperature-controlled production area. To efficiently run the site Coombe Fisheries has needed to boost its workforce by 25 per cent which will result in staff numbers growing from 123 to 150 in the next few months.
Coombe Fisheries has teamed up with Somerset-based food construction company ProjectLink to bring the site to fruition. The firms have been working together for the past two years and the food manufacturing company was full of praise for its construction-based counterpart.
Iain Spear, joint managing director of Coombe Fisheries, said: "Our initial brief was to find a way of modifying our existing site and ProjectLink has delivered fresh ideas that have doubled our processing capacity.
"They have used their knowledge and experience of the food industry to deliver effective solutions that modernise and increase productivity at every stage of seafood processing."
Coombe Fisheries' expansion comes after figures released by Kantar Worldpanel showed that the value of the retail frozen fish market had grown by 1.6 per cent. The sector is now valued at £5.8 billion.
The Grocer reported that the UK's fish market has been boosted by increased growth across the world with the global frozen fish sector reaching $239.75 billion (£183.17 billion, according to Transparency Market Research.