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Seaweed Enterprises boss Pete Higgins. Picture credit: Mike Wilkinson.

New business Seaweed Enterprises has bought the assets of Mara Seaweed, which collapsed into administration in June.

The start-up plans to expand its Glenrothes factory into the UK’s leading harvesting and processing hub for seaweed.

It has been founded by CEO Pete Higgins, former boss of Cupar-based sustainable snack producer Growers Garden, along with two of the senior team from Mara, Arnie Sathiy and Clare Dean. The company has already secured £300,000 in private investment and plans to raise another £700,000 to upgrade the factory to British Retail Consortium accreditation standards.

Joint administrator Callum Carmichael, partner FRP Advisory, said: “The sale is a great result for everyone involved with Mara Seaweed in particular the staff, suppliers and extensive customer base.”

The deal means seven jobs have been saved, which Carmichael said was “particularly rewarding”.

Seaweed Enterprises CEO Pete Higgins commented: “Seaweed is an extraordinarily beneficial natural resource whose potential is not yet fully realised, so this is a tremendously exciting time for Seaweed Enterprises and the sustainable seaweed sector as a whole.”

Seaweed Enterprises has permission to ‘wild harvest’ from a 20-mile stretch of coastline in Fife, but it is Pete’s intention to grow the business by offering its drying facilities – the largest in Scotland – to growers on the west coast who lack the ability to process seaweed at scale.

He said: “Working in partnership with Scottish seaweed farmers, as well as the large volume from our licence to wild harvest granted by the Crown Estate, we are proud to be developing innovative products to the highest standard. Our state-of-the-art facility will offer not only volume much needed by many customers, but importantly the versatility and refinement for higher value items.”