A family-run shellfish processing business is to expand and create new jobs thanks to the efforts of a consultant economist at South West-based chartered accountancy firm Milsted Langdon.
Coombe Fisheries, which has been run by the Spear family since it was established in 1980, applied to North Devon Council for permission to expand the capacity of storage facilities at its Barnstaple site.
To support the application, the company called on the expertise of consultant economist Kevin Butler, who prepared a report highlighting the positive impact the development would have on the local economy.
Working within a relatively short timescale, Kevin looked at a wide range of factors, including local unemployment figures and how the firm’s investment would benefit the economy through the additional jobs created and increased turnover.
The report – effectively a pilot scheme as it was the first of its kind produced by Milsted Langdon – proved so successful that the firm is now making the service available to all clients who need it.
Commenting on the report, Kevin said: “Having carefully considered a number of factors, I was able to demonstrate that allowing Coombe Fisheries to expand in this way would have a significant benefit on the local economy, as well as boosting turnover, quality, productivity and energy efficiency. As a result, the client was given planning permission.
“Despite the short timescale, we were able to turn this round quite quickly. Although this is the first time I have had to prepare such a report for a Milsted Langdon client, the successful outcome means that the firm is now offering this service to others.”
Iain Spear, a director at Coombe Fisheries, which he runs with brothers James and Richard, said: “Making the case for new investment in a difficult financial climate requires a comprehensive assessment of the economic and financial impact of the proposals, taking into account the interests of a range of different stakeholders, including the local community. Milsted Langdon and their consultant economist, Kevin Butler, helped us to make a case for the wider economic benefits of our plans.”