The Barnsley fish and chip shop on the road to net zero

It’s a Barnsley institution which was serving Britain’s loved food even before the Second World War.Now, the forward-thinking owner of Two Gates Fisheries in Shafton is doing his bit to make the nation’s favourite dish as eco-friendly as possible.

Former policeman Craig Butcher has just completed the Net Zero Barnsley programme at The Business Village, designed to help people like him reduce their business’s carbon footprint.

He has reviewed every aspect of the way he serves fish and chips to save energy, minimise waste and reduce food miles.

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The business has also gained a Low Carbon Grant through the programme, worth £12,499, to invest in a new £56,000 state-of-the-art electric frying range.

Eco-friendly food: Craig Butcher, of Two Gates Fisheries in Shafton, Barnsley, who is reducing his business’s carbon footprint.Eco-friendly food: Craig Butcher, of Two Gates Fisheries in Shafton, Barnsley, who is reducing his business’s carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly food: Craig Butcher, of Two Gates Fisheries in Shafton, Barnsley, who is reducing his business’s carbon footprint.

The Kiremko Jubilee frying range is seen as one of the most energy efficient model on the market and is set to slash the business’ fuel consumption and carbon emissions by half.

Craig, who runs the fisheries with partner Sarah Thompson, said: “Joining Net Zero Barnsley has really helped me look at my business differently and develop it in ways that are good for the planet and for our bottom-line.

“We 100 per cent want to invest in our future and the Low Carbon Grant is a great help.

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"The new range is a huge initial outlay for us but if you’re buying the Ferrari of all chip shop ranges it’s going to be expensive.

Craig Butcher, owner of Two Gates Fisheries.Craig Butcher, owner of Two Gates Fisheries.
Craig Butcher, owner of Two Gates Fisheries.

“This range is engineered to be the quickest, safest and best insulated ever; and once it’s fired up the heat retention is phenomenal.

"When you need your range on eight hours a day, six days a week that’s absolutely core to the business. It makes top quality fish and chips too!”

Craig expects that the new range should reduce his energy bills by £3,537 per annum and reduce carbon emissions by 8,045kg CO2 per annum.

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Over the expected 20-year life of the range, savings of 871,140kWh of electricity and 160.8 tonnes of CO2 will be made.

Craig Butcher at work at Two Gates Fisheries.Craig Butcher at work at Two Gates Fisheries.
Craig Butcher at work at Two Gates Fisheries.

Two Gates Fisheries was founded by two brothers in 1935 with an old coal-fired range, the chimney of which remains in the hop today.

Craig has replaced a 20-year-old range with his new model.

He added: “This business fried fish and chips for the community throughout World War Two and the Covid pandemic.

"We want to be here for people for another hundred years or more and becoming more sustainable as a business will enable us to achieve that. A net zero future has got to include fish and chips, right?”

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Craig has also cut carbon by re-organising storage so that he can reduce deliveries of stock from once a fortnight to once every six months, and orders of fresh fish from three times a week to once week.

He sources as many supplies as he can locally, including Cannon Hall pies and Fox potatoes, and has invested in an electric car for home deliveries.

Further moves to recycle, fully replace single-use-plastics and investigate solar panels are in hand.

Net Zero Barnsley business development manager Kevin Steel said: “Two Gates Fisheries has embraced all the opportunities presented by the government’s legal requirement for UK businesses to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 – and Barnsley Council’s earlier target of 2045.

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“Craig must be running one of the most forward-thinking fish and chip shops in the country and we hope his example will give others food for thought.”

Craig added: “I’d encourage other local businesses to get started on their decarbonisation journeys with Net Zero Barnsley.

"We’ve all got to do our bit and I’ve found it fascinating to work with experts and learn all about what it means for us.”

The Business Village is delivering the Net Zero Barnsley programme, as part of the Low Carbon Project, part-funded by the UK Government through the Shared Prosperity Fund – which is providing £2.6 billion of funding upto March 2025.

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Net Zero Barnsley (NZB), meanshiwle, is delivering six-month programmes with 48 businesses over the next eighteen months.

Participants receive specialist sustainability coaching to work through carbon calculators which define and measure their existing CO2 outputs and identify priorities for action.

This is the second NZB programme after the first helped 36 businesses to start their “net zero journeys” in 2023.

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