New Smokery Spells Success For UKs Top Seafood Firm

March 23, 2011 15:15

THE UK's leading independent supplier of seafood has opened a £1m extension to its Cumbrian operation - generating revenue and safeguarding jobs, reports with reference to Cumbrian Seafoods.

Cumbrian Seafoods, which supplies fish and fish products to the major UK retailers, has already gained £10m in new business from its smokehouse and chill spaced at West Lakes Smokery, near Whitehaven, ensuring the 140 jobs at the site are safe.

The company made the decision to retain its Whitehaven facility when it moved its headquarters from Maryport to County Durham in 2008 - and the West Lakes Smokery has defied the economic downturn, going from strength to strength and helping the company secure a contract with a fifth major food retailer delivering across the UK.

The new extension was officially opened by Copeland MP Jamie Reed, who said: "It is fantastic to see first hand the quality and consistency of the production at West Lakes Smokery.

"The story of their last 24 months is extraordinary. They are recognised for their excellence in their industry and, in unprecedented economic times, they demonstrate that local companies with the right product, understanding of their market and the right workforce, can do well.

"It is an industry to be proud of and reflects our traditional fishing heritage very well. This success ranks at the very top of our local food production."

In 2002, Cumbrian Seafoods bought Cumberland Coldstorage and spent more than £2m converting the facility into the fish smoking plant, which has increased smoking capacity from six to 24 tonnes per day.

David Gilthorpe, joint managing director of Cumbrian Seafoods said: "The new smokery is the result of a two-year long project and we are delighted with it.

"We have long recognised it is essential to invest in and maintain a well-trained, loyal workforce.

"Fish is a very delicate product and we have a strong reputation for quality. We source the freshest product globally and are proud to maintain a growing local workforce and roots in the local economy."

Doug Holden, chief executive of the West Cumbria Development Agency, said: "West Lakes Smokery is a fantastic west Cumbrian success story. They have developed a world class smoking facility and have not been shy to invest in the business during the current economic times."

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