Friday, 17 April, 2020
£10 million is to be made available to pilot England’s fishing and aquaculture sectors through coronavirus complications.
The Government has announced a new grant scheme offering support to more than 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses in England that are suffering as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The majority of fish caught within the industry is usually destined for export, meaning England’s fishing fleet, which catches fish stocks such as hake, scallops and crab, has been hit by the closure of traditional export markets and the reduction in demand from the hospitality sector.
Up to £9 million will be available for grants to eligible fishing and aquaculture businesses. A further £1 million will be made available to support projects to assist fishermen to sell their catch in their local communities. This money will help fishing businesses find new ways to market and sell their catch while traditional markets are restricted, not only supporting the sector but also the local communities that depend on the industry.
Grants will be made to help cover fixed business costs, such as insurance, equipment hire and port costs. For the catching sector this will be calculated from the average business costs for the size of the vessel, as surveyed by the industry annually.
Fishing and aquaculture businesses in England may apply. The measures will support smaller fisherman in particular during this challenging time. For the catching sector, the fund will be open to under-24m vessel owners with fishing licences registered in England who recorded sales of £10,000 or more in 2019.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
'This £10 million scheme will provide a lifeline for more than 1,000 fishing businesses so they can continue to maintain and operate their boats during this challenging time, which has seen falling prices and lack of demand for fish from the restaurant industry.
'We are continuing to work closely with the fishing and aquaculture industry to ensure that they are supported and can get back to their vital role of providing fish for the table while contributing to the economy of many of our coastal communities.'
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will contact eligible registered owners and licence holders directly in stages with details of how to apply, starting on Monday 20 April 2020, through to early May.
More information about this funding opportunity and the application process is available on the GRANTfinder funding information platform. GRANTfinder provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on funding news. To find out more about how GRANTfinder can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.