A Yell-based marine firm that specialises in transporting live fish is doubling the number of staff it employs after acquiring a new vessel.
North Isles Marine Ltd, run by husband and wife Gilbert and Marianne Clark, is creating up to nine new jobs after purchasing the Settler, a 40m long wellboat.
Wellboats contain large vats of water to keep fish alive up to the point of processing, maximising quality and freshness.
The Burravoe based firm’s main customer is Scottish Sea Farms.
The Settler, which has a 650-metre cubic capacity, has been engaged full-time by Scottish Sea Farms to transport fish from farm to factory.
She will be manned by a crew of up to nine – effectively doubling the number of people employed by the company.
The firm was founded in September 2008 with the introduction of the wellboat Norholm. The 32-metre long vessel has a 320m3 capacity and is used to transport smolt from hatcheries to fish farms. She is staffed by a crew of eight.
Mrs Clark said: “Acquiring the Settler is a big step forward for us. The vessel has double the capacity of our original wellboat, the Norholm, and has enabled us to undertake a new exclusive contract with Scottish Sea Farms and double our workforce. As a rural, island-based business, we’re extremely pleased that we are creating new jobs.
North Isles Marine currently generates a turnover in excess of £1 million. The acquisition of the new vessel was supported by a seven-figure funding package from the Clydesdale Bank.
Mrs Clark added that the company now wanted to focus on achieving “our growth aspirations”.
The bank’s dedicated marine finance team was launched last year to provide enhanced support to the growing commercial marine and workboat sector.
The Clydesdale Bank’s George Moodie said: “It gives us great pleasure to extend our support for North Isles Marine, a well-managed and strong marine transport firm, and it is extremely rewarding to know that our partnership with the business has resulted in new jobs.”