Skye salmon farm nets bank agreement
13th March 2021
Clydesdale Bank, owned by Virgin Money, is supporting the ambitious growth plans of a salmon farming initiative on the Isle of Skye.
Organic Sea Harvest (OSH), the first independent UK start-up salmon farm in 30 years, has signed an agreement for financial services with the Bank, supporting its aim to become the leading organic salmon farmer in the world. Clydesdale Bank will help finance OSH’s production and support its local expenditures as it continues to invest in the local community.
OSH farms organic salmon at two sea sites off the north-east coast of Skye, at Culnacnoc and Invertote, and the first harvest is expected in Spring 2021. The company is committed to supporting the community - its two sites already employ 13 full-time members of staff, with more jobs likely to be created as the company grows and expands. OSH also use local suppliers wherever possible.
Ove Thu, CEO of OSH, commented: “We are delighted to join forces with Clydesdale Bank on the journey to become the leading organic salmon farmer in the world.
“This agreement will give OSH the facility to run the salmon farming operation and will indirectly support local expenses, such as staff wages, transportation and supplies. The Clydesdale Bank relationship will make it possible for OSH to draw even more attention to the Scottish origins of our business.”
Clydesdale Bank has a long history of working in the UK agriculture and fishing industry. Its dedicated team of relationship managers are experts in their field and, as well as advising customers on day-to-day operations, they also provide support on the wider economic environment, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and as the UK moves on post-Brexit.
Andy Tait, Director of Regional Banking, North and East Scotland, at Clydesdale Bank, said: “Organic Sea Harvest is an exciting young business, with clear ambitions for its future growth. As well as supporting local employment on the Isle of Skye, its commitment to using mostly local, Scottish suppliers is very welcome, especially given the current economic circumstances. It’s great to be working with OSH as it aims to become a global supplier of organic salmon, which will also promote Skye and Scotland’s organic credentials.”
A recent Scottish Government report* on the benefits of Scottish aquaculture noted that failure by UK financial institutions to offer investment in aquaculture expansion was limiting Scottish farmers’ involvement in the industry. It also referenced that each of the 11,700 jobs in aquaculture indirectly creates four other Scottish jobs.
Ove stated: “Brexit means there is a need to refocus many aspects of the UK and Scotland’s financial and administrative support to match competition globally. A local financial structure is vital to ensure salmon farming and its supporting industries continue to be a strong part of the Scottish economy.”
Clydesdale Bank will rebrand to Virgin Money for its business customers on 17 March 2021.
For further information, please contact:
Virgin Money Press Office
0800 066 5998
Organic Sea Harvest
Notes to editors:
Virgin Money is a full-service digital bank, serving 6.5m customers across the UK. It offers market-leading products and services to meet the full range of customers’ retail and business banking needs. Virgin Money aims to provide a consistently world-class experience for customers through its leading technology platform, telephone banking and a national network of innovative stores and business banking centres. By making banking better, Virgin Money seeks to deliver on its purpose of ‘Making you happier about money’.
Organic Sea Harvest
Organic Sea Harvest was officially incorporated in August 2015 and is the only salmon farmer in Scotland to focus solely on producing the finest organic salmon, with both sea sites officially certified as organic by the UK Soil Association. OSH have, so far, invested over £13 million in the local economy. OSH is proud to join forces with numerous local aquaculture industries, including the salmon processing plant of Loch Duart in Dingwall that recently created 60 new jobs in the area, Gael Force Group in Inverness and Arran Workboats at Isle of Arran.
*The Estimation of the Wider Economic Impacts of the Aquaculture Sector in Scotland report, which was published in September 2020, undertaken by Biggar Economics on behalf of Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government, stated that in 2018, the aquaculture sector supported 11,700 jobs in the Scottish economy. Therefore, it can be calculated that each job in Scottish aquaculture will indirectly create four other Scottish jobs. https://www.gov.scot/news/wider-economic-impacts-of-aquaculture/