An award-winning fish merchants is now looking to expand thanks to grant funding received from the Tees Valley Business Compass (TVBC).

Hartlepool based Hodgson Fish, which was founded in 1916 and is still a family-run business to this day, has secured £28k after receiving help from Waltons Clark Whitehill.

The grant will permit Hodgson Fish to now improve its internal efficiencies and smooth out the customer journey, which in turn will help increase its operations and add three roles to its already 90-strong workforce.

Gillian Baker, Growth Consultant at Waltons Clark Whitehill, said: “It’s been a pleasure to have assisted Hodgson Fish to acquire this funding.  Working with our funding partner, the Tees Valley Business Compass, we were able to quickly turn around the application.

“This has enabled Hodgson Fish to fully automate its customer journey, by replacing its existing manual system with a bespoke software solution and new state-of-the-art point-of-sale packing stations.”

Over the years, Hodgson Fish has grown to be the largest independent fish supplier in the north east and now boasts 10 Michelin Star restaurants in its client portfolio.

Recently, it has acquired the seafood wholesaler Sailbrand in Huddersfield which has allowed the family-run business to cast its nets further across the country to places like Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and up to the Scottish Borders.

The company has also opened its own purpose-built processing factory in Hartlepool which ensures it can continue its efforts to provide sustainably sourced fish from both home and abroad.

Alan Hodgson, a fourth-generation fishmonger, said: “Sustainability is always at the forefront of what we do. Customers are now aware of the importance of locally sourced produce that doesn’t impact the environment, either through over fishing or due to its carbon footprint. Responsible buying is key to sustainability in the market.”

It’s this approach to responsible fishing that has resulted in Hodgson Fish being awarded Processor of the Year 2019 by fishing industry news outlet Fishing News and has seen one of its filleters, Andrew Barker, crowned British Fish Craftsman of the Year by the National Federation of Fishmongers.