The business sought the funding after seeing a significant increase in demand for its products, as well as a desire to expand into bigger industries, such as food additives, biofuels and plastics.
Director Wave Crookes said the funding from BEF had enabled SeaGrown to purchase the equipment that was fundamental for it to start processing the seaweed.
“We’ve had an overwhelming amount of interest and support from the local community and have also taken on two full-time and two part-time employees who’ll be working across all aspects of SeaGrown.
Support from the BEF
“The support from Julie and the team at BEF has been outstanding; always communicative and the process was incredibly straightforward.”
Established in January last year, SeaGrown hand-harvests seaweed from the North Sea and has received support from the Coastal Communities Fund. The company plans to launch a range of seaweed food seasonings.
Commenting on the loan, BEF investment manager Julie Micklethwaite said: “As part of our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we always aim to support businesses that strive to address global challenges – so it’s fantastic to see the passion and dedication Wave and Laura [Robinson, co-founder] have for SeaGrown.
Commitment to the community
“They have impressive knowledge and expertise and are committed to really making a difference in the local and wider community. It’s great to see how our support has helped them on their journey.”
The use of seaweed in the production of food has seen significant growth over the past year.
In February, a seaweed processor based in the Outer Hebrides started work on a new £7m expanded facility after receiving £659,000 from a Scottish Government development agency.
Meanwhile, last year, edible seaweed processor Seaweed & Co reported export success for its products worldwide, as it worked with the Department of International Trade to help meet global demand.