Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Logo (with tagline Ag Obair Còmhla Airson nan Eilean)
Lews Castle

Comhairle Meets with Bakkafrost 

Representatives from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar yesterday (11 July) met with Ian Laister, Bakkafrost Managing Director for Scotland following the announcement of redundancy consultation with staff at their Marybank Processing Site.

77 staff at the Marybank processing site are impacted by the move which will bring a halt to salmon processing in the Western Isles. A further 80 jobs at hatchery sites across the Western Isles are unaffected.
At the meeting Comhairle representatives sought assurances from Bakkafrost on their plans for the impacted employees, the future of their operations in the Western Isles and the reasons for their decision.
Speaking following the meeting Cllr Paul Steele, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:

“Our primary concern following this announcement is the wellbeing of the employees impacted by this decision and their families. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will work alongside Skills Development Scotland and partners through the PACE programme to ensure employability support is available to all those impacted. This decision will also have a significant impact on local businesses who provided services to Bakkafrost.”
“The Western Isles has made a significant and sustained contribution to aquaculture both in Scotland and Globally. Our natural resources, the work of local businesses and the industry expertise of islanders have been crucial to the Scottish operations of Bakkafrost and other large-scale producers. The decisions made by Bakkafrost have not been made overnight. Removing 77 jobs from the Western Isles is incredibly significant and notification of this move should have been provided at a much earlier stage.”
”Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will continue to engage directly with Bakkafrost to seek clarity on its future plans for the islands, including opportunities for the resumption of processing activity as part of its long-term production strategy”