A SCOTTISH family-owned butcher is planning the UK’s “largest dry-ageing station”, capable of maturing more than 6,000 pieces of bone-in sirloin and ribeye, after securing a £2 million funding package from banking group HSBC.

John Gilmour Butchers is building a new £10m butchery and retail facility at Wallyford in East Lothian, to meet growing demand. Its current premises at Macmerry will become an export facility.

The expansion will involve the business, which currently employs 60 people, taking on 40 new staff members, including butchers and mechanical technicians. An apprenticeship scheme will be set up to encourage young butchers to join the industry.

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John Gilmour Butchers, which supplies dry-aged beef and lamb to luxury restaurants, will use the funding to purchase land in Wallyford for its new 45,000 sq ft site, which will accommodate an office, retail shop and delicatessen as well as three Himalayan salt dry-ageing chambers.

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The chambers, which together have the capacity to mature the 6,000-plus pieces of bone-in sirloin and ribeye, are dehumidifying units which draw the moisture out of the meat to increase tenderness and flavour.

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The third-generation family business, which is owned by Teena, Rebecca, Daniel and Simon Gilmour, was founded back in 1946 by brothers William and John. It has grown from a small high street store into an online business-to-business institution, with what it describes as a “burgeoning trade in London”.

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Daniel Gilmour, managing director at John Gilmour Butchers, said: “Growth is always exciting and, thanks to this funding, we’ll be able to fully embrace it by increasing our facilities and workforce. This will enable us to not only take on new clients, but service our existing clients to an exceptionally high level.”

He also flagged plans to export the “Gilmour black gold” range to international clients in the near future.