An Inverness-based aquaculture company is embarking on a ‘multi-million pound’ research and development project to improve fish health, reduce the threat of predators and reduce carbon emissions.
Gael Force Group, a manufacturer and supplier of equipment, technology and services to the fish farming industry, is continuing work after securing financial support from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The company said the funding would also help it enter new markets, such as Scandinavia, noting that it was working on solutions to help the industry grow in a sustainable manner.
Gael Force was founded by Stewart Graham as a creel maker in Stornoway in 1983 and now employs over 200 people in Scotland, England and Canada. It supplies the commercial fishing and recreational marine markets in addition to the aquaculture sector.
While the pandemic has had “short-term impacts on businesses,” the new funding will allow it to continue to grow in international markets and recruit more employees. Prior to the pandemic, the company is said to have grown in the range of 20% to 25% year-on-year throughout its 37-year history.
The most recent accounts of Companies House’s business show Gael Force made a pre-tax profit of £ 2.6million on a turnover of £ 41.9million in the year ended December 31, 2019.
Robert Foster, Chief Financial Officer of Gael Force Group, said: “For almost 40 years we have been committed to partnering with our customers, whether they are an established salmon farmer or the local fishing community. who works hard. , relationships of trust.
“This is something we have in common with the team at Royal Bank of Scotland, who have made the re-banking process as easy as possible. They understand our vision and shared feeling for sustainable growth, and we believe this is the start of a successful and lasting partnership.
The “flexible” package provided by Royal Bank includes working capital loans.
Barry Fraser, Bank Relations Director, said: “The company has experienced steady growth since its inception in 1983, and we look forward to working with the management team to help implement their strategy over the years. to come up. ”