Traditional Smokehouse Sutherlands of Portsoy granted £37k for re-development

01 Jun 2021

Two entrepreneurs from Norfolk, who traded salmon with Gourmets Choice identified the company needed investment if the tradition was to be maintained. In 2018 they bought the company with an ambitious long term plan to redevelop the site. The £1.5m iconic project is a totally new business model which incorporates 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 the immediate area and 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 them the opportunity to hopefully find an area they enjoy and can excel at. The company identifies its social and moral responsibility to both the community and the industry, which is why we have a number of research projects currently underway with RGU Aberdeen.

Based in the small fishing village of Portsoy in the North-East of Scotland, 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.

With ambitious plans for the future, Sutherlands of Portsoy plan to redevelop the existing site over a period of two years, these plans include a huge open space which has the ability to be used for multiple events including collaborative tastings and art  exhibitions-which in turn will help to increase export sales as well as home grown. The new £1.5m building will place Sutherlands of Portsoy at the heart of the local community, creating jobs and providing security to families in the area.

As part of a £74k funding package, Business Loans Scotland has provided £37k to allow Gourmets Choice 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.

Director of Gourmets Choice 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 the 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.”