HRH Prince Charles declares new Peterhead Fish Market formally open

Mike Park of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association discusses the industry with Prince Charles
Mike Park of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association discusses the industry with Prince Charles

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, declared the new Peterhead Fish Market formally open in front of 500 invited guests today.

The state-of-the-art market, part of a £51 million redevelopment of the harbour by Peterhead Port Authority, which also included a deeper basin and more than 800m of new quayside, began operating in June.

His Royal Highness talks about the port with Harbour Master Captain John Forman

His Royal Highness talks about the port with Harbour Master Captain John Forman

The Prince said he was “very glad” to be able to join everyone in the opening of “this very important new fish market facility”.

“If I may just add my warmest congratulations to all those who played such an important part in building this new development, and above all in delivering it on time and on budget. That I think is a great achievement.

“This new market I’m sure will make a huge difference to, not only the local economy here in Peterhead, but also more widely in this part of Scotland.”

Prior to the opening ceremony the Prince met fifth generation fish filleter Conrad Jack (18), of local firm Jack Fish, who demonstrated his technique on a monkfish.

Margie Davidson discusses some of the history of the port with His Royal Highness

Margie Davidson discusses some of the history of the port with His Royal Highness

He also met exhibitors, including contractors on the project and fishing and heritage organisations.

The invited guests, meanwhile, enjoyed entertainment from Peterhead Academy pupils, Turriff Pipe Band, Fiona Kennedy and Maggie Adamson before a lavish lunch.

The new market has a capacity of 10,000 boxes and the latest refrigeration technology which, combined with good access for boats on the quayside and articulated lorries on the shoreside, ensure that product quality is maintained as fish pass through in efficient fashion. Plenty of office space and a new cafe also mean an enhanced working environment.

Peterhead Port Authority chief executive Simon Brebner said: “We were delighted an honoured to have His Royal Highness here today to open the market.

Peterhead Academy pupils performed for the Prince and assembled guests at the fishmarket

Peterhead Academy pupils performed for the Prince and assembled guests at the fishmarket

"This is a historic time for the port. The new fish market, quayside improvements, deepening of the harbour and widening and replacement of the Queenie Bridge represent a major investment by the Board that will significantly improve operating conditions for users of the harbour and create a legacy for the town as a whole.”

After officially blessing the market, Mission Superintendent Steve Murray presented his Royal Highness with a Bible.

The prince then spoke with skippers Peter Bruce of the Budding Rose and John Campbell, of the Tranquility before greeting well-wishers who had come down to the port.

The investment in the market totalled around £9 million, while the harbour works cost £43 million. The Scottish Government / European Maritime & Fisheries Fund contributed £5 million in grant funding towards the project.

The Duke of Rothesay gets an overview of the extensive Denholm business during his visit to the new fishmarket

The Duke of Rothesay gets an overview of the extensive Denholm business during his visit to the new fishmarket

The architects for the fish market were Arch Henderson and the main contractor was Chap Construction, with building work beginning in March 2017.

The engineers for the harbour works were the RPS Group and McLaughlin and Harvey / Boskalis who formed a joint venture as the main contractor.

The Prince said he was very glad to be able to join everyone in the opening of this very important new fish market facility

The Prince said he was very glad to be able to join everyone in the opening of this very important new fish market facility