Marine equipment business buys former sea life sanctuary

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Gael Force Fusion are the new owners of Barcaldine’s former Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary.

The marine and aquaculture equipment manufacturer will be moving out of the premises they have been leasing nearby from Scottish Sea Farms and now the sale for an undisclosed sum is through, a change of use planning application is being prepared to submit to Argyll and Bute Council.

Gael Force Fusion Managing Director Stewart Graham  says by investing in the former award-winning visitor attraction site, the business is supporting its current workforce of 22 highly skilled people in the Oban area and, subject to necessary consents, will be seeking to create a further eight jobs.

The new premises means Gael Force Fusion will be able to continue with its plans to invest in innovative fish farm pen systems, research and development, technical design and manufacturing for customers in Scotland and overseas.

Mr Graham said: ‘The positive outcome of our investment is that we are able to support our current workforce, move ahead with our plans for creating further sustainable jobs in Argyll and contribute to the economic stability in the area.  This development is another strong signal that the aquaculture sector is playing a leading role in creating sustainable careers and supporting the rural economy.’

The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary was shut by Merlin Entertainments at the end of October with the loss of 11 jobs.

Merlin said at the time the decision to shut was ‘heart-wrenching’ for everyone involved but after exploring every possible option to the keep the centre open, none offered a viable solution for its long-term sustainability.