Council offers support to those affected by factory fire

Fire at the Northbay Pelagic factory in Peterhead
Fire at the Northbay Pelagic factory in Peterhead

Aberdeenshire Council is continuing to work with a range of partners and agencies following the fire at North Bay Pelagic factory on Saturday, January 17.

The company has 120 full-time permanent staff and normally around 100 temporary staff at this time of year.

There are also 100 local people who are heavily dependent on the company.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of economic development, Belinda Miller, said: “This has been a devastating fire that has destroyed the main processing building which will have to be demolished and rebuilt.

“North Bay Pelagic is one of the biggest employers in the north-east and we have already offered our help and support to the company and those that work there.

“Over the coming days we will be working with them, the Scottish Government, other agencies and companies in the area to assist in any way we can.”

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Councillor Jim Gifford, said: “I would like to express my thanks to all who have helped over the weekend from the emergency services to council staff and members of the public.

“The fishing industry is a major part of the economy in the north-east of Scotland and we will work with partners and agencies to help the company and its workers.

“I would also like to thank the Scottish Government for their quick offer of support which is greatly appreciated.

“If you or someone you know has any concerns about the impact of the fire, please do attend the drop-in session on Thursday, January 22 at the Hot Spot on Kirk Street.”

Aberdeenshire Council was involved in assessing the building and has asked for the outer wall to be demolished before the roads around the area can reopen.

Around 13 houses were evacuated on Saturday night as a precaution. Nearly all of the inhabitants were able to stay with friends or relatives and Aberdeenshire Council provided accommodation for three families.

All were able to return to their homes yesterday.

A drop-in session for employees and families affected by Saturday’s fire will take place at the Hot Spot, 1-3 Kirk Street between 9am and 1pm on Thursday, January 22.

Experienced advisors will be available from various agencies including Aberdeenshire Council, Citizens Advice Bureau, Job Centre Plus and Volunteer Centre Aberdeenshire.

The Hot Spot is a community facility managed by Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Learning & Development Service and jointly funded by the council and the Fairer Scotland Fund.

It offers a meeting space and place where local residents can receive free and confidential advice, information, support and advocacy on a wide range of issues.

Although situated on the same street as the Northbay Pelagic factory, the building was not damaged by the fire and is open for business as usual.

Fortnightly drop-in sessions have been held on the first and third Tuesday of every month, offering an out-of-hours service for those experiencing financial difficulties in Peterhead.

The drop-in sessions will resume their normal schedule from Tuesday, February 3.