New shareholder Golden Acre, a food distribution company with operations in Glasgow and Surrey, was keen to find sustainable, low-impact food production opportunities.
Golden Acre owner Neale Powell-Cook said: “We want to contribute to improving the environmental performance of the UK food sector. We really appreciate Loch Long Salmon’s genuine commitment to sustainable salmon farming in Scotland and are anticipating a strong market demand for these special fish. We have been convinced by the expertise brought to this project by the Loch Long Salmon team.”
No sea lice
The investment will be used to meet the costs of gaining permission for the farm, which will have four farming enclosures, a harvesting enclosure, and an on-land facility for separating waste from the water used in the enclosures. Loch Long Salmon expects to capture more than 85% of the faeces and uneaten feed that falls to the bottom of the enclosures.
The enclosures will also keep the fish free of lice.
Christoph Harwood, director of Loch Long Salmon, said: “Our goal with Loch Long Salmon is to establish a new salmon farming company that addresses concerns about sea lice and organic waste accumulation. Semi-closed farming systems deliver this and support rural development in Scotland. We are delighted that Neale Powell-Cook and the team at Golden Acre have joined us to ensure that this goal becomes a reality.”
The next step for the Beinn Reithe site development process is to apply for planning permission and a CAR (Controlled Activities Regulations) licence from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Loch Long Salmon expects to have full planning permission by the end of 2021. Site construction will commence in 2022 and first stocking is planned for early in 2023.
Co-founder Stewart Hawthorn, a former fish farmer, said more funding would be required for the build phase. The likely cost of the farm, including the water treatment, would be around £15 million.