Island Fish Successful in their bid for support from the EMFF - see update below
2 Years On
Island Fish Ltd began on the 1st May 2015. It is hard to believe that nearly 2 years have passed since that date. So much has happened, so many highs and although not too many lows there have been a few fraught times - but never once has any of us regretted our decision to develop a business that has become so important to us all, from the very youngest member of the family to the eldest, who at 73 it has to be said is the most enthusiastic of us all!
Working as we do with visitors to Scilly has meant that we have been privileged to meet the most lovely people imaginable. In a world where you only hear bad news it is easy to loose your faith in human nature, but without exception the people we have met over the last 2 years have been interesting, kind and genuinely people you woud like to get to know better.
Working with family has been incredibly rewarding, there is at least one major argument per month during the height of the summer but it doesn't really matter, everything is usually smoothed over with a bottle of wine and a general understanding that everyone is simply tired. Working with family means that everyone has your back no matter what, a feeling that is beyond priceless. Finally during the course of the last two years we have learnt much about the younger members of our family, the strength of their love for their home and a way of life that we had no idea was quite so important to them. They are in many ways the stars of the show, without a doubt aggravating and 'all knowing' they have displayed a commitment to the business that makes you feel on the days when the lows outweigh the highs that at least you are doing something right!
The site of our proposed new premises
So what next?
Well the business has taken off far more quickly than we ever dreamt, so much so that we have found that working from home is proving to be just not possible as we need more space if we are to keep up with demand.
The challenge has been to find somewhere on Bryher that we can work from that is both suitable in terms of size, has a good location and works well as both workspace and public facing premises. After a lot of time and effort looking at possible options and in the absence of any available empty building that we could use we have decided we have no option but to take the most expensive and difficult option open to us and build somewhere new. In November 2016 we received planning permission to develop a 10 m x 10m building at the site currently known as Kenython at the entrance to Bryher. The current site empty for 3 years will allow us the perfect location to develop whilst still maintaining a very strong personal feel to the business. The house that is currently on the site will be demolished as it is no longer fit for either commercial or residential use and using local builders we will build premises that will virtually look like for like, very much like a cottage rather than workspace - and we promise to keep the garden looking as lovely as it does now!!
Building on Scilly is however very expensive and we are currently waiting for the outcome of a grant bid that if successful will make it possible for us to embark on the next stage of our journey, one that will allow us to process more crab, employ more local people, provide more food options for visitors to Bryher, develop an exhibition within the building focusing on the history of fishing on Scilly and most critically for us a tangible asset that we can pass on to the next generation so that they have options open to them if they decide they want to live and work on Bryher.
'Island Fish Ltd Successful in their bid for support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund' Island Fish Ltd is absolutely delighted to announce that it has received funding of circa £99,000 from the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund to develop Kenython (as pictured above) into new bespoke business premises. The project that quite simply would not happen without grant aid will be to develop the site into 10m x 10m workspace that will provide the business with the room to expand and increase the range of its offer both in terms of wholesale customers and visitors to Bryher and Scilly. The project scheduled to break ground on the 31st of July with a view to opening on the 1st April 2018 will be both challenging in terms of logistics and balancing expenditure (building on an island 28 miles out in the Atlantic is never easy!!) but the benefits will be huge, not least it will ensure that the next generation of Bryher fisherman and women have the appropriate infrastrucuture in place to continue an industry that at the heart of our islands tradition and culture.
The project will begin in earnest on the 26th July when the first of four landing craft will deliver 50 tonnes of building materials directly onto the beach at Bar, Bryher, to be off loaded by a posse of tractor drivers! The second landing craft will arrive just a few days later on the 30th July with two more to follow with the timber frame and white goods in late September. The project will utilise the skills of a range of local workmen with timber frame specialists Emanuel Hendry commencing work erecting the framework of the building in October. Local builder Ted Langdon will provide all the finishing touches with a view to the building opening on the 1st April 2018. There will of course be an opening party! But at present we would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us in our efforts to date, including the team at the Marine Management Organsation for their patience and assistance and everyone involved in the EMFF.