Aquaculture equipment and technology supply partner Gael Force Group, originally founded in Stornoway almost 40 years ago, has announced new appointments to its board of directors as it implements an ambitious new 5-year strategy to grow into a world class supply partner in the global finfish aquaculture sector.

The implementation of the new strategy comes on the back of an incredible period of growth which saw sales climb from £17.1m in 2016 to £41.5m in 2019.  Successful delivery of the strategy is expected to lead to a similar rate of growth as the previous 4 years, with more than a doubling of sales and its workforce over the 5-year period.

Gael Force was founded by Stewart Graham in 1983. The business currently employs more than 250 people across Scotland, England and Canada. Gael Force’s locations include head office and engineering facility in Inverness, Forres, Fort William, Glasgow, Grand Falls-Windsor (Newfoundland and Labrador), Kishorn, Oban, Plymouth and Stornoway.

Retiring this September from Gael Force Fusion after nearly 20 years of service is Operations Director Iain Forbes.  Mr Forbes said, “I am certain that the company will continue to go from strength to strength in the forthcoming years and that it is clearly in the very best of hands. I wish everyone at Gael Force Group all the very best in the next exciting chapter of the business.”

Company founder and Group Managing Director Stewart Graham said, “Iain leaves behind a tremendous legacy in the aquaculture sector, to Argyll and the west coast of Scotland as well as a team and ownership which will see the company develop and grow further into the future. It truly feels like the end of one era and the beginning of another.”

Group Sales Director Jamie Young and Group Production Director Stephen Offord have both been promoted to the Gael Force Group board and will play key senior roles in driving the new 5-year strategy.

New Group Finance Director Robert Foster who has joined the Group from Halliburton, replaces the outgoing Tim Phillips, who is retiring after almost 8 years of service with Gael Force.  Robert Foster commented, “It’s clear that Gael Force are an extremely successful and ambitious company and I look forward to supporting the business in delivering on its strategy through focusing on delivering excellence, innovation and quality assurance to our customers.”

Outgoing Finance Director Tim Phillips commented, “I can honestly say that there has not been one day in my spell at Gael Force when I haven’t felt better from virtually every interaction I’ve had.” 

He added, “There’s a lot of lip service paid in the wider world to customer focus and the rest, but here I’ve never felt that it’s anything other than the blood that runs through us. Serving our customers is the beginning and the end.”

Stewart Graham added, “Despite the challenges created by Covid-19, a strong hand on the tiller has ensured a steady course for Gael Force throughout the pandemic.

"The exemplary commitment and leadership I have seen across the company during these challenging times means that the business continues to perform strongly.  We move forward with every confidence that our new strategic aims and ambitions to be world class, will provide us with a stronger footing to be even more competitive, more innovative and value adding to the market and uphold our reputation for being a trusted partner to our long standing customers, both in Scotland, Canada and in our target export markets.”

Pictured right to left, Robert Foster (Group Finance Director), Jamie Young (Group Sales Director), Stephen Offord (Group Production Director).

The Gael Force works and office in Island Road, Stornoway

Stewart Graham, Group Managing Director.

Gael Force SeaFeed Feeding System in action on a fish farm in Orkney.