A Yell-based mussel growing company is bucking the economic gloom by expanding its business.
C&A Thomason Ltd hopes to create three new part-time jobs and retain its existing workers following a significant investment by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Over £22,000 is being pumped into the company to help buy a new mussel harvesting workboat and specialist sorting equipment.
The firm has operated successfully since 1998 growing, harvesting and packing mussels. C&A Thomason has had a strong performance over recent years but now needs to develop new mussel sites at Copister in South Yell to maintain its ambitious growth plans.
Mussels from the organisation are supplied solely to the wholesale market in the UK. Mussels grown in Shetland account for 65 per cent of the Scottish supply and tend to be 20 per cent larger due to the clean water and strong tides.
The workboat will be built and commissioned this year and aims to enter service next year. It will boost the company’s turnover by around 30 percent over the next three years.
Managing director Christopher Thomason said: “We are delighted to have secured grant funding from HIE to further enhance and develop our business. The new harvesting vessel and equipment will make operations more efficient and increase mussel production. This is vital for ensuring job security and creation in an island community like Yell, which is remote and fragile.”
HIE development manager David Priest said: “C&A Thomason are very important to the shellfish part of the food and drink industry in Scotland, the new work boat will help the increase production, turnover and jobs based in Yell and this will be a useful boost to the local economy.”