25 jobs lost at Galloway Seafoods

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Workers at Newton Stewart’s Galloway Seafoods have been told that the Galloway Seafoods factory will cease manufacturing at some point in March or April 2016.

The company say this is because some of the processes being carried out in Galloway are a duplication of those at the branch in Whitby.

A spokesperson for the only Scottish site owned by Whitby Seafoods said: “Initially we thought that all 40 jobs at the site could be under threat however that is no longer the case.

“The factory is not going to close, however the breading and packing process will be moved to Whitby.

“We will still be freezing and storing fish at the factory in Newton Stewart and the company will need staff to carry this out.”

The staff at Galloway Seafoods have been offered employment with the company, however they would have to relocate to Whitby.

“Around ten people have accepted the job offer in Whitby including some very skilled people,” a spokesperson explained.

“The managing director from Galloway, a number of managers and an engineer have all decided to relocate.

“The company hopes to keep Galloway Seafoods open for as long as possible and the figure of 25 is the worst case scenario figure.”

The move by Whitby Seafoods is part of a structural review with the aim of ‘matching their four manufacturing sites to the specialist skills for the area and history of that site’.

Whitby Seafoods is a leading producer of seafood, marketing Whitby Scampi and other Whitby-branded products in retailers and restaurants including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose.

It bought the Galloway Seafoods site in February 2014 from the Sco-Fro group for an undisclosed sum.

Whitby gained the Galloway Seafood customer base, which includes shops and wholesalers and the site produces own-brand scampi.

The deal in 2014 took Whitby’s share of the UK scampi market from 14 to 20 per cent.

At the time the company said that one of the attractions was the site’s Scottish location and its proximity to important fishing grounds.

A statement from the company said: “It has been decided that the head office site at Whitby, North Yorkshire, will remain the company’s centre of excellence for the preparation, coating and packing of scampi, prawns, goujons and battered fillets.

“All products with the Whitby brand name will continue to be produced there. The company’s technical, NPD, sales accounts and marketing teams are also based at this site.

“The two sites Whitby owns at Kilkeel harbour will be combined into one new fully refurbished site. This site will continue to operate as Kilkeel Seafoods and will be the specialist site for shelling, freezing and preparing scampi tails.”