Bob the restaurant owner's story
Bob runs two successful seafood restaurants in Belfast and Dundrum and the Belfast Cookery School.
We’ve worked with Bob for 11 years through a shared passion to ensure the people of Northern Ireland can enjoy delicious, responsibly sourced seafood.
In 2017, we worked with him to source funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Rural Affairs (DAERA) through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and set up the Marketing Seafood through Education (MaSTE) through the Belfast Cookery School.
Since then, 191 student chefs, 32 college chef lecturers and 314 Home Economics teachers have been trained to work with seafood in the hope that means more seafood on menus in the future.
He turned to us again last year during the Covid-19 pandemic and we signposted him to grants available to support businesses to diversify.
Through the grant we received, we set up a click-and-collect fish shop. The fish shop initiative was an enormous success with bumper sales each weekend during the first lockdown.
It meant we were buying around £4,000 to £5,000 of locally landed and farmed seafood each week so it was also great to support our local fishing industry too.
Our local engagement work in the heart of the UK's fishing and seafood communities
We know the seafood industry in Kilkeel is different to the seafood industry in Peterhead. That’s why we have Regional Managers around the UK to support the industry at a local level.
We work closely with the local industry to create projects and deliver work to meet those local needs. In the past year we’ve:
- Supported a careers campaign for the processing sector in North East Scotland
- Made cockle picking and fish farm working in Wales safer through funding from Welsh Government to cover Personal Flotation Devices with Personal Location Beacons
- Funded and supported a gear recycling scheme in South West England
- Helped businesses in Humber and Grimsby to get ready for Brexit through webinars targeted at local businesses
Whilst our work is designed to support the local industry, each project has the potential to be rolled out elsewhere in the UK. We pride ourselves on connecting the seafood supply chain and the regions to help the whole industry thrive.
We’ve built up relationships over the years so when times got tough during the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses also had somewhere to turn for advice and support.
How can we help you?
If you need some support or have an idea that could make a difference to your local seafood community, get in touch with our Regional team.