(L-R) Mark Greet and Louis Mathers

Seafood supplier Falfish has announced a £1.8 million investment in new cold storage facilities to support the further growth of the business.

The expansion is being supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) using £575k from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The investment has been welcomed by Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, who said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to grow and flourish.

“This investment of £575k is an exciting opportunity to support the growth of a significant local employer, creating new jobs and supporting the industry to reduce carbon emissions.”

George Eustice, the MP for Camborne & Redruth and the Fisheries Minister, added: “Falfish is one of the country’s leading fish processors with a great reputation for quality and a strong trade record on exports. As we leave the EU and take control of our waters, there will be new opportunities for the fishing industry and making sure we have the facilities to process and add value to the fish we catch is vital.”

The project will see the construction of a 660sq m food grade cold storage unit on the Cardrew Industrial Estate in Redruth, where Falfish has its main factory site.

It will increase the company’s storage capacity to 1,150 tonnes, ironing out peaks and troughs in supply, and will boost sales by providing 12-month availability to customers. The electricity needs of the new building will be partly covered by photo voltaic (PV) panels.

Falfish is the largest seafood processor in the south west with operations in Redruth and Falmouth. The £36 million turnover business processes 11,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish per year across 56 species, employing around 200 people. Significant growth in recent years means the company has been relying on third-party cold storage facilities.

Its new cold store will create 17 new jobs, reduce operational costs and cut carbon emissions by 64 tonnes a year thanks to reduced transport needs and the use of renewable energy. It will ensure a secure market for catches from 100 family-owned fishing vessels in Cornwall, and the region’s main fish markets in Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham, from which the company sources fish.

Falfish MD Mark Greet said: “Having a new purpose-built cold store so close to our main processing site will make our business more productive and efficient and increase our trading season, which is good news for our suppliers, customers and staff.

“We’re grateful for the LEP’s Local Growth Fund investment, and the support of Cornwall Council and hope to start construction soon ready for the new facility to be open in early 2021.”

Louis Mathers, small business lead on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Board, said: “The seafood supply chain is global and highly competitive and this investment will help Falfish futureproof its business by shortening the supply chain and increasing capacity to hold stock for domestic and export sales across the year.

“The Cornish fishing industry lands more than £45 million of catches into Cornish ports annually, and the processing sector adds another £100 million in value. We’re delighted to be supporting this important project for the industry in our region and look forward to its completion.”

The LEP’s investment is the latest from its £78 million Local Growth Fund allocation secured from the government in the last five years. Other projects include an £8.4 million investment in Goonhilly Earth Station; £2 million for creative industries workspace at the Hall for Cornwall; £2 million for business and incubation space in Newquay and £1 million towards energy efficiency and electric vehicle projects on Scilly.