Scottish Smokehouse secures £170,000 from Bank of Scotland for expansion
A South Uist smokehouse has received £170,000 in support from the Bank of Scotland to expanding its footprint and introducing new products.
Salar Smokehouse, a producer of smoked salmon and trout, opened on the Isle of Benbecula in South Uist in 1997.
Famous for its hand-made kilns used in the smoking process, Salar Smokehouse was acquired by its current owner and former employee, Iain MacRury in 2015. He was a production manager for the business and decided to buy the firm when it was put up for sale, saving 10 local jobs.
In 2018, Iain and Emma MacRury also bought a local bistro. The pair had originally intended to change it into a production site for new products including pates and chowders, but decided to keep it as a Bistro due to its popularity within the local community.
Still wanting to open a production site, the business approached Bank of Scotland securing £170,000 of funding. Further funding from Highlands & Islands Enterprises and Business Gateway is helping to support the development of the building.
Salar Smokehouse will move to the 1600 sq f building on the Isle of Benbecula early summer 2023 The new premises will allow it to add to its current offering and produce other smoked items including meat products, ham and beef. The new production facility will also offer new employment opportunities, creating two full time and two part time roles.
In a bid to reduce costs and increase its energy-efficiency, the business has also purchased a minibus. This will be used to transport each of the six members of staff to the kilns, saving employees £200 per vehicle, per month on fuel.
Mr MacRury, director at Salar Smokehouse, said: “The support from Bank of Scotland marks the next step in our ambitious growth plans. Not only can we now expand our offering, but the support will also help to safeguard the future of the business and allow us to operate more sustainably.
“The new premises represents a significant opportunity for us. It will be purpose built, meaning we will have the capability to produce more product that we’ll be able sell to larger supermarkets and reach an even bigger customer base.
“It is an exciting time for Salar Smokehouse, and we can’t wait to see what the next few years hold for us.”
Katie Kroll, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland commented: “SME employers are a vital part of Scotland’s economy and currently represent 30% of companies in the country.
“We are pleased to be supporting ambitious independent businesses like Salar Smokehouse, which is a prime example of a small business in the Highlands and Islands that is maximising growth opportunities and providing jobs for local people.
“We are proud to support growth like this that will in turn, help keep the business thriving for years to come. We will remain by the side of businesses across Scotland as they work to reach their full growth potential.”