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Fleetwood fish processing firm secures new contracts after growth funding

My Fish Company web

My Fish Company Ltd is a fresh fish and seafood processing firm based in Fleetwood, Lancashire, supplying restaurants, independent fishmongers and supermarkets. Following support from the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund, the business invested in a high speed skinning machine which led to it winning two new contracts, increasing productivity by 15 per cent and creating three new jobs.

The Challenge

My Fish Company was established in 2015 by Gary Apps, the firm’s managing director, and currently employs 50 people, with an annual turnover of £8.5m. The business has growth rapidly over the past four years, by focusing on product development and customer need. Gary said: “Our rapid growth as a business is down to our responsiveness to customer demand. We’re continuously looking to grow or improve our product range to meet the demands of our customers, whilst ensuring that the margins would make this worthwhile for the business.”

Having previously been supported by the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund in 2017 to secure their Safe And Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) certificate, which led to new business wins and an increase of six to headcount, Gary met with Steve Wilkinson, specialist manufacturing advisor in early 2019 to discuss their plans for the future. Steve visited the factory and met the team to assess what steps they should take to achieve these plans. He said: “It was clear that My Fish Company needed to create some capacity in production, in order to meet the high demand of their customers. "In addition, they were looking to launch a new skinned, portioned package range for one of their supermarket clients, but the only way to achieve the target cost price, would be to implement a high-speed skinning machine which would automate this process, and free up some much-needed resource from production.” Steve recommended that the business apply for one of the Fund’s capital grants, which would provide the business with 50 per cent of the cost of the equipment.

The Solution

The business was awarded a grant of £11,750 and installed the new machinery in Summer 2019. Gary said: “The new machinery is already making a huge difference to the business, we have increased the volume of product processed by 15 per cent and have successfully won two new contracts to supply skinned product.” “I anticipate that sales will increase by £50k and have already recruited three new jobs to manage increased demand.” The business was also referred to the Made Smarter initiative to look at the feasibility of digitalising aspects of the business and production process in a bid for higher levels of productivity.

For more information and to apply for the grant please contact Boost on 0800 488 0057 or: Steve Wilkinson, manufacturing advisor, Lancashire Business Growth Fund Email: steve.wilkinson@growthco.uk

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