Dawnfresh To Bring 150 New Jobs to Arbroath

Seafood producer Dawnfresh plans to close its factory near Glasgow and create 150 new jobs in Angus.

Worker’s at the company’s Uddingston site, where 23 staff are based, were told of the closure decision yesterday (9 September).

Dawnfresh intends to move to one production site in the middle of next year with a workforce of more than 300 in Arbroath.

It has acquired the former Perimax building next to its site at Kirkton Industrial Estate will make a £5 million investment in the expansion.

Around 15o new jobs will be added to the 180-strong Angus workforce.

The majority of Dawnfresh’s work is processing and packaging seafood for supermarkets.

It produces 10,000 tonnes of seafood a year across 350 product lines.

Managing director Raleigh Salvesen said the company had to take direction after several loss-making years.

He said: “We have made significant investment in the production facilities to try to make them profitable.

“In the past few years the competition in the market has increased significantly.

“We are one of the major Scottish seafood processors and our priority is to protect that and secure the future of as many jobs as possible.”

He said closing the Arbroath factory was among the options considered, but decided the Angus site gave Dawnfresh “the best option for future growth”.

The reduction in overall headcount will come through production efficiencies and fewer management required for one site.

No Arbroath jobs are at risk under the plans.

“We are preparing the factory next door (in Arbroath) for production and then we will join the two buildings together,” the managing director said.

“We want to give staff as much notice as possible and transfer as transfer as many jobs from Uddingston as we can.

“There will be a relocation allowance and we will protect current pay and conditions.

“We will also have some familiarisation trips to introduce them to the area.”

The consultation period with the Uddingston staff is due to last until early November, when the firm will advertise the jobs available in Arbroath.

Mr Salvesen hopes Dawnfresh will grow the tonnage of seafood it processes by 30% over the next five years.

He said: “The decision means we will be more efficient in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“We believe this will secure the future of Dawnfresh and protect over 300 food production jobs in the company.

“Clearly it will be very difficult for the staff in Uddingston.

“It’s sad that it’s come to this.  We don’t take the decision lightly and understand the impact.

“But our priority has to be securing the business for years to come and creating that platform for growth to keep jobs in Scotland.”

Dawnfresh is one of the UK’s largest producers of fish and seafood, manages a number of farming sites across Scotland and exports around the world.

In its most recently filed accounts, for the year ending March 29 2020, Dawnfresh Holdings showed a pre-tax loss of £5.8 million and a turnover of £72.4 million.

The company has lost money in each of the last 16 years.

The cumulative pre-tax losses total more than £80 million.

Dawnfresh is engaging with unions, skills agencies and North and South Lanarkshire Councils to help people who do not want to relocate find new jobs.

The company says it intends to work with government and other agencies to find an alternative use for the Uddingston site.

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