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Is seaweed cultivation a potential new business opportunity for Aberdeenshire?

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council is inviting interested parties to an online event and presentation which will demonstrate opportunities for new seaweed cultivation operations along the Banff and Buchan coast.

The council’s Regeneration Team commissioned a study in March of this year to explore the opportunities this emerging and fast-growing industry may provide for the area and its businesses.

Northern Light Consulting was engaged to deliver the study and will deliver a presentation on Thursday, June 24 at 7pm.

Seaweed cultivation and the associated processing and use of seaweed products could offer valuable diversification opportunities, harnessing existing infrastructure, skills and businesses in north Aberdeenshire.

To date, small-scale seaweed harvesting and foraging has been more widely associated with the west coast of Scotland.

While the marine environment on the north-east coast differs from the sheltered west coast, seaweed is still to be found in abundance here.

Over the past three months, Northern Light has performed a series of assessments on the opportunity for seaweed cultivation and has identified a number of potential sites off the Banff and Buchan coast.

Factors considered in the study include (but are not limited to):

• Species selection and site identification

• Equipment and infrastructure requirements

• Business establishment costs

• Processing and routes to market

• Financial projections and funding options

Christine Webster, Regeneration and Town Centres Manager at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We are intrigued about where this opportunity could benefit business and jobs in Banff and Buchan. "The Banff and Macduff Vision and Action Plans were formed to accelerate the development of the towns, and this opportunity is one that could really add value to our food and drink sector whilst also contributing to reducing carbon emissions in so many ways.

“There is real excitement in the business community about the potential and the event will explore this further and hopefully set in motion the next steps to realising the opportunity.”

The online Zoom event will comprise a 40-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session and interested parties are being encouraged to join in and learn more about the project, its findings and how local businesses could be involved in the next steps.

To register your attendance, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seaweed-cultivation-a-new-business-opportunity-for-aberdeenshire-tickets-157770930099

For further information, contact jamie.wilkinson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

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