A Scottish seafood company has opened a major distribution hub in the Spanish city of Bilbao to “scale” its operations and “solidify” its position in the European market.

Larkhall-based MacNeil Shellfish, noting its investment in the 3,000 square metre facility “designed to propel the company into its next growth phase” exceeded £5 million, declared: “This expansion, the culmination of five years of meticulous planning and dedication, marks a significant milestone for the family-operated enterprise.

“This state-of-the-art hub is set to enhance MacNeil's operational efficiency, increase its market share, and significantly boost its distribution capabilities across Spain, Portugal, and the broader European continent.”

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The company was founded in 2012 by Michael MacNeil and partner Amber Knight.

It said: “MacNeil Shellfish has steadfastly championed the cause of sustainable and ethical seafood harvesting. Partnering with nearly 600 local suppliers in Scotland, MacNeil has carved out a reputation for its wild, creel-caught delicacies, including crab, lobster, and langoustine, setting the gold standard for responsible shellfish sourcing.”

MacNeil added: “Shellfish from Scotland remains one of the most sought-after products throughout the EU, and the new factory will allow MacNeil to increase production with an expected 30% growth in 2024 turnover, and 10% increase in exports.”

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It declared it would “offer certified, sustainably sourced products…with full provenance and traceability to meet European consumer demand”.

Ms Knight said: "At MacNeil Shellfish, our core mission extends beyond just selling seafood. We are deeply invested in nurturing a sustainable future for our community of suppliers, partners, and employees.

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"Our new facility in Bilbao is a testament to our dedication to excellence and sustainability. It will not only enhance our distribution capabilities but also reinforce our support for the Scottish fishing communities, enabling us to deliver our exceptional products more effectively across Spain and Europe."

MacNeil operates with subsidiaries in Great Britain, Spain and Ireland.

It has a joint venture in Spain with Fishellnorth Ansomar, and plans to extend operations in France and the Netherlands in the immediate future.