Opening of new offices and employee welfare facilities ahead of the PS20m automated coldstore addition The first phase in a large investment made by Hilton Seafood in Grimsby is now complete. Philip Heffer, Group Chief Executive, cut the ribbon for the major expansion of office space as well as staff facilities. This multi-million pound addition was made to the South Humberside Industrial Estate. The PS20 million Project Polar – the launch and operation of the prominent automated cold storage and warehouse facility, which has been established at the A180 entrance to Grimsby. This is one of three production plants the company owns in Grimsby. The business will be able to double its size with this new initiative.
Matt Lee, the head of the non-meat divisions at the FTSE-listed company said that it was a very, really proud moment for Hilton Seafood. While we know that there is a very difficult economic climate at the moment, many businesses are retreating, we are not. We continue to invest and are thrilled to open the new office and restaurant. Hilton Seafood will also be getting more investment. “Hilton strives to be the protein provider choice in all protein categories that we operate in. This means that we aim to be the seafood provider choice for consumers, partners, and the people living in the communities where we work. We want to be the employer choice in the region, which is why we made this significant investment. We are aware of the importance of the facility in the area and we work hard to make sure that people love to work there.
Grimsby’s FSC was the principal contractor and was praised for its timely completion despite raw material headwinds. Hilton employs more than 1,200 people. In 2017, the company bought the combined Coldwater and Seachill businesses from Icelandic Group.
Additionally, Vegetarian businesses were also added to the site, along with a Dutch seafood company in Foppen. Andre van der Padt, is now the chief executive. Hilton will be managing director. With Polar’s commissioning expected later this year or early next year, Mr Lee said that the office development and the automated cold storage and warehousing systems – both a PS20million investment – sent a clear message that we are serious about seafood and want to be the best seafood supplier in the UK and around the world. Hilton Seafood Grimsby, Rob Walsh, North East Lincolnshire Council’s chief executive, was present at the unveiling with Marcus Coleman and Simon Dwyer, seafood industry guests.
A warm welcome to new MDs ahead of sub-zero
Hilton Seafood’s new managing Director is focused on international growth. Andre van der Padt arrived at Grimsby with more that a quarter century of experience in food production across many sectors and geographies.
He spoke to Business Live his first time since June’s appointment. It is a large investment and it is challenging me to see how we can grow faster, faster, and more beautifully than optimizing profit. He explained how Foppen, despite being a Dutch company has 80% of its US sales. Then comes Asia and some domestic trade. “We are able to access international markets but want more. It is a huge challenge to grow internationally. If they had said to me, “Come to Grimsby and retire,” I would not have done it. This is something you need to focus on and manage, in order to grow.
The company’s Saucy Fish Co brand has had some success in the past and the aim is to bring the meat and vegetarian products across the Atlantic. He was used to working in “big factories and production workers” and has also worked in seafood and dairy.
Cleethorpes impressed him, and he spent time getting to understand the area. He also oversees sites located in Greece and the Netherlands. Russell’s Smokehouse and Laforey Road are also part of the Grimsby Cluster.Great Grimsby Business Park is slated to host a new restaurant for staff. This will be the company’s fresh-fish site. There are also potential for two additional lines.