Jonas Seafoods brings new life to crab processing in Cromer
Jonas Seafoods will see the start of a whole new era with the opening of its brand new crab and lobster processing factory in Cromer on Friday 30 August.
It was feared that large scale processing of fresh, locally caught crab and lobster would be a thing of the past when Cromer Crab Company finally closed its doors just a year ago, but the support shown by people across the whole country, ranging from local residents and politicians to media personalities, spurred work to see the revival of a business with which Cromer has long been associated.
Jonas Seafoods is currently based in East Runton, but the premises are too small and with business partner Nick Samujlik, company owner and managing director Kevin Jonas is now in a position to expand significantly, helping the local crab and lobster fishing fleet in the process.
Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Tom FitzPatrick, said, “I am delighted that North Norfolk District Council has been able to help with this significant expansion of Jonas Seafoods, bringing large-scale seafood processing back to Cromer. We tried hard to forestall the closure of the Cromer Crab Company, but when that became inevitable we were determined to work just as hard to bring about a replacement processing facility, and here it is. This new facility will help not just to safeguard and promote the unique Cromer crab and lobster brand, but also support the local inshore fishing industry and many associated local jobs and families at the same time.”
Kevin Jonas said, “It’s been hard work, but the District Council has offered us outstanding support and advice, helping to make it all possible and smoothing out a long and complex process.”
The expanded business, on the Stonehill industrial estate, off Holt Road, just west of Cromer, already has 22 people, some of whom previously worked for the Cromer Crab Company, on its books. It aims to double that number by the end of September when processing is fully under way. An on-site retail outlet is planned to open in April 2014. Financial support for the new operation has been received from North Norfolk District Council’s Coastal Pathfinder fund and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), alongside bank loans and private funds.
The formal opening of the new Jonas Seafoods factory in Cromer will take place at 5.30pm on Friday 30 August – journalists and photographers are welcome to attend. Interviews and tours of the new facilities will be available.
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