Post Brexit Seafood Funding – What’s the Catch?

  • 5th July 2021

Many UK businesses have in the past benefited from schemes such as the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund however the fight to ‘take back control of our waters’ has made EU funding streams a casualty of this ‘conflict’.

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme largely picks up where such schemes left off with many hallmarks of previous EU schemes. It is available to applicants based in England and is being administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on behalf of Defra.

Unlike some other schemes the funding is available on a wide range of projects with no fewer than seven strategic priorities however there are no clear deadlines and a caveat that not all areas of the scheme will always be open for support with several funding rounds expected.

The usual requirements for applications generally apply – you will need to demonstrate that the project will help to achieve one of the seven objectives and that the funding is necessary for the project to go ahead. This is one of the more confusing elements of the guidance which states that if you can afford the project without support your project will not be approved, however you will also have to pay for the project upfront and claim back costs incurred as grant funding from the MMO.

Of particular interest to the area may be grants in the processing sector which if you are an SME (2 out of 3 of the following; <£25m turnover, <£12.5m balance sheet value or <250 employees) range from £1,000 to £600,000 with a maximum of 50% funding for the project in question.

The turnaround for approval is expected to take 8 weeks if all relevant information is sent at the time of application with initial applications and subsequent claims for funding once successful all done online via the Fisheries and Seafood Support E-system.

We would advise that anyone looking to apply completes an expression of interest form to at least enquire about the likelihood of success of a full application with key areas likely to be extremely competitive.

Here at Forrester Boyd we have access to funding and projects specialists who have helped businesses access millions of £’s worth of funding in the past and would be happy to work with you in forming your application or preparing any required projections or supporting financial information. Contact us for further guidance.


Read more on: Seafood

Written by: Neal Watford

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