Wraps come off new Peterhead Fishmarket

Peterhead Port Authority's new chief executive Simon Brebner (right) is welcomed into the role by John Wallace
Peterhead Port Authority's new chief executive Simon Brebner (right) is welcomed into the role by John Wallace

The wraps have been taken off Peterhead's impressive new multi-million pound fishmarket.

Forming part of a £51million North Harbour development, the fishmarket began taking landings on Sunday night ready for the morning market today (Monday).

The launch came under the watchful eye of new chief executive Simon Brebner who took over at the helm of Peterhead Port Authority just last week.

Simon (58) was quick to praise the board for its vision and commitment to the future of the port.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Simon arrives in the North-east having latterly been chief commercial officer at Abu Dhabi Terminals.

Relishing the challenge this change of direction will bring, he told us: "This is very much a different environment for me but it is a very exciting one.

"This is a historic time for the port. The commitment and investment made by the board cannot be underestimated and will provide a lasting legacy for the port and the town as a whole."

The North Bay development with its deepening and the widening of the Queenie Bridge takes the port to a whole new level and will enable all whitefish vessels to access the market without the need for tidal capacity.

Simon continued: "Peterhead Port Authority has identified the need for efficiency for all users of the harbour - it is vital we get fishing vessels in, have them turned around and back out to sea to maximise their output. By improving the efficiency of the harbour and fishmarket, we can provide a better quality of service and, hopefully, see better prices generated."

Paying tribute to his predecessor John Wallace, who lead the major development from the start, Simon said: "John and his team have done an amazing job over recent years in what continue to be challenging economic times.

"Their vision for the port and its future development is outstanding. We recently saw record landings for the port of £195 million and, while we should not assume to hit those heady heights all the time, we must strive for quality of service to ensure our focus is 100% customer-centric.

"Every single one of our customers needs to get the best value for money and we will continue to attract new clients to utilise the excellent range of services we provide here in Peterhead.

"Moving forward, we will listen to what our teams, customers and future clients have to say to ensure we improve and provide the best service we can.

"Through ongoing investment, the port of Peterhead has become a beautiful pearl, but one that needs to be polished all the time to keep it shining."

John Wallace will continue to support Simon and oversee the completion of the North Bay development until August, before returning to a position on the board in September.

Meanwhile, another aspect of the opening of the new fishmarket is that it heralds the start of demolition works on the existing market at Merchants Quay.

That is expected to be cleared by the end of September when it will be formally transferred into the operational ownership of NorSea Group (UK) Limited.

In due course, NorSea will also take on the running of the extended quayside currently under construction.

Simon explained: "It will be of huge benefit to customers having a full-time operation of this size and capacity in Peterhead. NorSea operations continue to go from strength to strength and the extended quayside facilities will bring added value to the port as a whole."

Married, with two grown-up children, Simon is relishing testing his golfing skills on the wealth of courses the North-east has to offer, not to mention tackling some of the great outdoors walks the area provides.