Cooke Scotland managing director Colin Blair, left, and North Lanarkshire councillor and Coatbridge and Bellshill Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidate Frank McNally at Cooke's Bellshill head office.

Bellshill politician inspired by visit to Cooke Scotland HQ


Salmon farmer Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has taken the opportunity to outline the positive social and economic impact that the company and the aquaculture sector have on local businesses in North Lanarkshire and across the United Kingdom during a visit by a local politician.

Frank McNally, a North Lanarkshire councillor and the Labour Party’s General Election candidate for Coatbridge and Bellshill, visited Cooke’s corporate head office at Avondale House, Bellshill, last week.

“The salmon farming sector provides 2,500 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs across Scotland, including in Coatbridge and Bellshill,” said McNally. “As the UK’s largest food export, Scottish salmon makes a significant contribution to our economy. It was great to hear from Cooke Aquaculture about the work they are doing to ensure the continued success of Scottish salmon, the steps being taken to build greater sustainability within the sector, while ensuring animal welfare remains a top priority.”

380-plus jobs

Cooke Scotland managing director Colin Blair said the company employed more than 380 staff in highly skilled and well-paid jobs across locations throughout the Scottish mainland, England (the company has hatcheries in Cumbria), and the northern isles of Orkney and Shetland.

“We will continue working with government to grow a low carbon, highly nutritious food which positively impacts supply chain businesses up and down the country,” said Blair.

Canadian-owned Cooke Scotland produces approximately 27,000 gutted weight tonnes of salmon annually, around a fifth of which is certified to the Soil Association’s organic standard.

The Coatbridge and Bellshill constituency has changed hands between Labour and the Scottish National Party at each of the last three General Elections, and is currently represented at Westminster by the SNP’s Steven Bonnar.