Shellfish start-up swamped by demandThe Development Bank of Wales provided a loan for Sion Riley to start a fishing business. Photo: Holyhead Shellfish

Since starting fishing in July this year with start-up loan help from the Development Bank of Wales, Sion Riley’s catches have been in high demand since he launched Holyhead Shellfish.

Sion Riley took over fishing boat Pan Arctic this summer following start-up micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales. He said demand for local Welsh seafood has not abated, despite the pandemic.

“Working on the sea, fishing, and in my local community has always been a dream of mine. Nothing, not even a pandemic would stop me. My ambition has been rewarded by huge demand from local restaurants and wholesalers. It’s been a phenomenal experience so far,” he said.

Sion became aware earlier this year that a boat, with full fishing rights, was about to become available. He approached its owner about taking it over and then investigated what support was available for local start-ups on Anglesey.

“I approached Môn CF to find out what was out there for new businesses and for help to secure the funds to purchase Pan Arctic. Alun from Môn CF put me in touch with Lowri at Business Wales and Sion at the Development Bank of Wales. Once everything was in place, with plans and facts and figures everything came together just nicely. I’m really thankful to both Môn CF and the Development Bank for their support during this start-up phase of the business.”

“Sion’s commitment to making his dream a reality is impressive,” commented Môn CF business support manager Alun Roberts.

“We’re glad to have been able to put him in touch with Siôn at the Development Bank to help him start up. We enjoy working in partnership with other organisations who can support local entrepreneurs, like the Development Bank of Wales and Business Wales. We wish Sion well in his new endeavours and encourage anyone like Sion, who wants to pursue a dream of becoming their own boss, to get in touch.”

“Sion had a very clear vision for what he wanted to do and the future of his business,” said  Siôn Wynne, Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales.

“He’s hardworking and dedicated and has considerable seafaring experience from his time with the Royal Navy. We’re delighted to have been able to help him start his business and are excited to see Holyhead Shellfish grow. I’ve enjoyed working with Sion and Holyhead Shellfish and look forward to supporting other companies in the area in a similar way.”

“Business is thriving,” Sion Riley added. “Even in the middle of a pandemic people still need to eat and we’ve had a lot of demand for our shellfish stock.”

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