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Outer Hebrides salmon business expands and creates jobs

Iain MacRury (Photo: Peter Keltie)

AN OUTER Hebrides salmon producer, which is undergoing a refit project at a facility it recently purchased has secured £72,685 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Salar Smokehouse Ltd currently produces a range of smoked salmon products from a site at Loch Carnan, South Uist. The firm will move production operations 12 miles north to Uachdar in Benbecula bringing it closer to ‘Charlie’s Bistro’ – a bistro with rooms the business has been running since 2018. 

The move to the new site will enable the company to increase production capacity, improve efficiency and be more accessible to passing visitors seeking out local products. Two new posts will be created as a result of the growth potential that the new premises will bring.

Salar Smokehouse Ltd was established by Iain MacRury in 2015 when it was formed to purchase the assets of Loch Duart Smokehouse at Loch Carnan in South Uist. 

A team of six highly skilled local people are employed by the business all year round and more seasonal staff are recruited at peak times throughout the year. The business produces the highly acclaimed Salar Flaky Salmon and a range of other smoked products.

Once refitted, the new space will provide improved production process and will allow the business to launch a new sub-brand of more affordable products. 

HIE’s investment will also be used to set up a new e-commerce website to help engage more customers. It currently trades locally, nationally and internationally, as far away as USA, Canada and throughout Europe and the company plans to build trade to customers in middle east and Asia over the next 18 months.

Joanna Peteranna from HIE, said: “There are many community and economic benefits to this project. It will significantly enhance the local visitor offering and provide valuable and much-needed employment as well as helping the business to reduce its travel related carbon emissions. I am very pleased we have been able to provide support and look forward to seeing the project develop.

Iain MacRury said: “We would like to thank everyone at HIE for all their support for the project. This is an exciting time for us and looking forward to developing and growing the business locally and internationally over the next 18 months.

The project will bring the business in closer proximity with its other operations, which will reduce its road miles, making a saving of 8.7 tonnes of CO2 each year.

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