Getting Funding Through the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme – a Quick Guide for Fish Processors

by | Dec 13, 2022 | Blog, Fish Processing Industry

Getting Funding Through the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme – a Quick Guide for Fish Processors

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme is a source of grant funding that is available to businesses and organisations in England’s seafood sector. It is run by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) which is part of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The aim of the scheme is to safeguard the long-term sustainability, prosperity, and resilience of the seafood sector in England

Funding is available to organisations in different parts of the seafood sector, including catching, aquaculture, and processing. This blog focuses on the funding available for seafood processors in the UK.

Who can apply, what projects might qualify, how much funding can you receive, and what steps should you take next? We’ll answer all these questions and more.

Who Can Apply to the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme?

Any fish processing business or organisation in England can apply to the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme. This includes micro businesses, SMEs, and larger enterprises.

If your application is successful, you will receive funding according to the criteria set out by the MMO. That criteria includes a requirement to provide match-funding for the project. For example, a successful scheme applicant categorised as an SME might have to provide 50 percent in match funding, with the other 50 percent received as a grant through the scheme.

How Are Applications Assessed?

The assessment of applications is based on the benefits the project will deliver as well as affordability, value for money, and deliverability. You may not receive funding if the MMO believes you can afford to implement the project without receiving financial support.

Projects that Can Qualify for Funding Under the Scheme

There are a number of project categories and sub-categories that are potentially suitable for funding under the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme. For this blog, we’ve focused on those that apply to the seafood processing industry.

Improve the Resilience and Sustainability of Shore-Based Facilities

There are several headings under this category that describe projects that can qualify for funding. They include:

  • Improving infrastructure across the supply chain – examples given are projects that enhance product quality or traceability, improve working conditions, and increase energy efficiency.
  • Processing of fisheries products – examples include projects that increase energy efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, enable the processing of by-products, or improve existing products or processes.

Up to £150,000 of funding is available for projects that qualify under the above headings. The match funding requirement for SMEs is 50 percent. It is 70 percent for larger enterprises.

Diversification and New Forms of Income

This category in the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme includes projects that implement new processes and/or increase capacity. The diversification or new forms of income must be within the seafood sector.

Funding of up to £100,000 is available. The match funding requirements are 50 percent for SMEs and 70 percent for larger enterprises.

Improving Health and Safety

This category of funding under the scheme can include projects in fish processing facilities. Some of the examples given include projects that improve the health, wellbeing, and working conditions of employees, as well as projects that improve hygiene in fish processing facilities.

The potential funding available is up to £150,000 and the match funding requirements are the same as the previous two categories highlighted in this blog, i.e., 50 percent for SMEs and 70 percent for larger enterprises.

How to Apply

You will need to complete the application form on the MMO’s website, providing the documentation that is requested. Examples of this documentation include financial accounts and a business case for the project. You will also need to supply quotes. Most projects will require quotes from three suppliers.

Further guidance on how to apply, as well as access to an online application system, is available on the scheme’s website.

How SF Engineering Can Help

Members of our team are experienced in supporting seafood sector customers apply for funding. This includes funding for new equipment, manufacturing process improvements, and production line improvement projects. We can provide assistance throughout the entire process, from planning the project to providing a quote to helping you complete the application. We can also deliver the project after the funding is secured.

To speak to a member of our team, please get in touch.