Redevelopment of the Smokehouse, the former home of Summer Isles Foods Ltd, is a major project for CCDC – we need it to regain its central role in the community as an important contributor to life here, both economically and socially. When Summer Isles Foods relocated to Alness we lost many things – our main employer, a visitor attraction, something that put us on the map, an association with the finest quality foods and a pride in producing it. We want to retain all of this, and more.
Having bought the Smokehouse with lottery money, locally raised funds and generous donations we are now engaged in securing, repairing and the pursuing the development of the building. The Smokehouse Development Officer, Peter Muir, has visited a range of businesses – many in small communities like ours – involved in food processing and other activities relevant to the potential use for the Smokehouse. We have employed the services of a food production consultant to advise on potential developments. However, despite all the talk of food which is an obvious use for the building with all the superb raw materials we have from sea, croft or hill, the building could have a mixed use with other manufacturing going on under the same roof. We plan to have a retail area selling produce and products made on the premises – to provide a draw for visitors.
When Summer Isles Foods announced their intention to relocate, CCDC and Highlands and Islands Enterprise embarked on an exercise to establish interest from community members in starting up food or other businesses – we’ll take this opportunity again with this blog post to ask if anyone (from the community or beyond) would like to develop any business ideas at the Smokehouse, and if so to come forward and have a word with Peter Muir or any of the directors so that their ideas might be considered along with those others we plan to provide for.