The Prince of Wales has described a new state-of-the-art fish market as “a great achievement” as he attended its official opening ceremony.
The new North Bay market building opened in June this year to accommodate the greater quantities of stocks being landed on the quayside at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, the UK’s largest white fish and pelagic port.
It replaces the former market at Merchants Quay and is part of Peterhead Port Authority’s £51 million project to redevelop the harbour.
Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, attended the official opening ceremony on Saturday along with more than 500 invited guests.
The prince said he was “very glad” to be able to join everyone in the opening of “this very important new fish market facility”.
He added: “If I may just add my warmest congratulations to all those who played such an important part in building this new development, and above all in delivering it on time and on budget. That I think is a great achievement.
“This new market I’m sure will make a huge difference to, not only the local economy here in Peterhead, but also more widely in this part of Scotland.”
The event included entertainment from local school pupils, Turriff Pipe Band and musicians Fiona Kennedy and Maggie Adamson.
The prince also viewed exhibition stands and meet contractors who worked on the project, fisheries organisations and heritage groups.
He took a tour of fishing vessels moored at the quay.
Fisherman John Campbell met the prince at the event. The 30-year-old from Peterhead said: “He was really nice and put me at ease.
“He seemed like he was genuinely interested in talking to me and asking about the vessel and the job we do.”
In the first nine weeks of its operation, more than 250,000 boxes of fish were sold in the new fish market, rising to just short of 340,000 boxes in the first 11 weeks.
The new market has a capacity of 10,000 boxes and the latest refrigeration technology which, combined with good access for boats on the quayside and articulated lorries on the shoreside, ensures that product quality is maintained as fish pass through.
It also new has office space and a cafe.