YOUNG’S Seafood this week picked up a £1.34 million cheque to help provide training at two of its Grimsby sites.
The money, from the Regional Growth Fund, was earmarked in the summer when it was thought local jobs were under threat following the loss of the Sainsbury’s processing contract to rivals Marine Harvest. That threat has since been lifted.
However, the funding was criticised by Scottish politicians who claimed it was illegal under EU rules, suggesting it was state aid. The row now seems to have subsided.
Meanwhile, contracts were signed on Monday between North East Lincolnshire (Grimsby) Council and Young’s Seafood on what the council says was an important day for the local seafood industry. Young’s is the largest private sector employer in the area.
Having had their application to the programme approved, the grant will be used primarily to provide essential training at the Humberstone Road and Marsden Road sites in Grimsby.
Council leader Ray Oxby said: ‘Our larger businesses are very important to us, particularly in light of what is happening to our neighbours in North Lincolnshire within the steel industry.
‘The food and seafood industry is part of our heritage and vital to the local economy and we’ve been working extremely hard behind the scenes to help support Young’s in their project.
‘Being able to use these funds to contribute towards the cost of up-skilling the Grimsby workforce will reap many benefits for the area.
‘Young’s will be able to retain skilled staff, offering them re-training and sustainable ongoing employment, all of which is key to our area’s future competitiveness.
‘Young’s are a key part of the local fabric of our community, and we want to make sure that continues for many years to come.
‘Locally, more than 5,000 people are employed in the sector, and that’s why it’s one of our key focuses for investment support.
‘We said when the announcement was made about Young’s losing a major contract that we would do all we could to provide assistance and give whatever support we’re able to as a local authority to help safeguard jobs in the area.’
Cllr Oxby added: ‘Since then, we’ve been true to our word and now we’ll be working with Young’s to ensure that their future, and that of their workforce, remains secure in Grimsby.’
Pete Ward, chief executive of Young’s, said: ‘We welcome the confirmation that this funding will be made available.
‘This funding will complement the investment we plan to make in training and developing our staff. We would like to say thank you to all those who have been involved in making this possible.’