An oat juice factory to be run by seafood processing company Errigal Bay has received planning permission in Co Donegal.

As part of the planning application documents submitted by Errigal Bay to Donegal County Council, the company said it will be using oats and oilseed rape grown by Donegal farmers.

“Oats will be grown in the Finn Valley with rapeseed oil also being sourced from within the county to support Donegal farming,” a letter sent to the council said.

The letter also stated that 90% of the raw material used to manufacture the product would be fresh water, which will be sourced from Lough Nalughraman under an existing agreement.

The remaining 10% raw material used will be split evenly between oat flour and rapeseed oil. The letter added that the oat flour and rapeseed oil will be delivered to the site.

It is unclear where exactly the oats and oilseed rape will be processed into oat flour and rapeseed oil, respectively.

The factory will be located on the same premises as the existing Errigal Bay seafood processing plant at Meenaneary, Carrick, Co Donegal.

Previous application

The application states that planning permission, which ran out in August 2023, had been granted on the same site for a similar building that was to be a seafood cold store.

Separate planning permission on the same site was also granted for site enabling works, which were carried out.

“Economic and market conditions have changed over the lifetime of the main building permission, such that the original intended use as a seafood cold store is no longer seen as viable.

“However, in an effort to protect existing employment numbers and create employment growth, as well as utilise the previous investment made in the site enabling works, the company has identified the growing market in the production of plant-based produce as an ideal process to locate within the proposed new building,” it said.

The number of people employed at the site will grow initially from 140 to 170 and eventually to 197 over a five-year period, including both the seafood processing and oat juice enterprises.