Traditional Smokehouse Sutherlands of Portsoy Awarded £37K for Re-Development

01 Jun 2021

Based in the small fishing village of Portsoy in the North-East of Scotland, Gourmets Choice, trading as Sutherlands of Portsoy, dates back to 1908. They produce not only the finest award-winning smoked salmon, but a range of other smoked fish, including, trout, mackerel, haddock and traditional kippers using traditional methods that have been passed down through five generations.

Back in 2018, two entrepreneurs from Norfolk, who traded salmon with the business, identified the company needed investment if the tradition was to be maintained and therefore decided to buy the company with an ambitious long term plan to redevelop the site.




With ambitious plans for the future, Sutherlands of Portsoy plan to redevelop the existing site over a period of two years where this £1.5m iconic project will be a completely new business model incorporating the community as much as creating employment.

The building has an impressive frontage, making it a destination on the North East coast. The ground floor is taken up by a state of the art smoke house with the administration centre on the floor above as well as an industrial kitchen where collaborations can take place with other food and drink producers in the region.

The second and mezzanine floors will be an education centre for disadvantaged children from both the immediate and surrounding areas along the North East coast. It is intended to give these children life skills and the ability to shadow every aspect of the business giving an ideal opportunity to find an area they enjoy and can excel at. The company identifies its social and moral responsibility to both the community and the industry and currently have a number of research projects underway with RGU Aberdeen.

As part of a £74K funding package required, Business Loans Scotland has provided £37K to allow Sutherlands of Portsoy to begin this journey with the creation of a new shop / kitchen which will in turn showcase their plans and begin in earnest a series of new collaborations with other food and drink producers in the region. In addition, it is helping them with the planning stage of the new development.

A Director of Sutherlands of Portsoy said:

"The past 12 months has been challenging for all of us, we were almost faced with total closure, but with the support from Business Loans Scotland we have been able to continue our plans towards the redevelopment, thus giving security to the staff and a future to look forward to."

Upon releasing the funding to Sutherlands of Portsoy, Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager for Business Loans Scotland said:

“As producers of award winning smoked salmon based in Portsoy the business was severely impacted by both Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic and did not have its challenges to seek. 

With plans to redevelop the site at Portsoy, the company approached BLS with a view to securing a £37,000 loan to help with the transformational development of the smokehouse including new kitchen and function facilities and an education centre to help disadvantaged children develop new life skills. I was delighted BLS was able to support the company and look forward to the business supporting the local community and developing its UK and export sales using a new e-commerce platform as part of its sales and marketing strategy.”