Funding schemes for the UK seafood industry

This page has information on some grants and funds that are available to UK seafood and marine businesses.

This list does not include every fund available. For more funding information, contact the regional managers listed below. 

Funding from Seafish 

We can offer some funding for workers and businesses in the seafood industry to do a variety of training courses.

For more information about onshore training courses, visit our onshore training webpage.

For more information about training courses for the fishing industry, visit our offshore training webpage

A group of fisherman in a classroom participating in onshore training
Classroom and online learning is available.

UK-wide funding 

UK Seafood Fund

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has given £100 million to a UK-wide funding scheme called the UK Seafood Fund.  

This fund is in place to support the UK fisheries and seafood industries and covers three areas: 

  • Science and Innovation 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Skills and Training 

Science and Innovation scheme
Under the Science and Innovation fund, there are two programmes which share a fund of £24m. These programmes are the Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) and the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP).

Relevant to: It will primarily fund large-scale strategic projects with a broad geographical (in some cases trans-national) scope and with multiple beneficiaries. All funding is competitive and has a match funding requirement. 

Organisation responsible: SIF is controlled by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and FISP is controlled by Defra. 

Infrastructure scheme
Up to £65 million in grant funding is available through the infrastructure scheme. The scheme funds projects that build capacity across the UK fishing sector supply chain. 

Relevant to: Any business and organisation looking to invest in ports, processing or aquaculture infrastructure.

Organisation responsible: Defra

A woman in PPE is working at a seafood processing factory putting fish fillets on a conveyer belt.
Investment in seafood processing is available through the UK Seafood Fund Infrastructure pillar

Skills and training scheme
Up to £10 million is available for skills and training in the sector to attract new recruits and improve workforce retention.

Relevant to: Any business or organisation looking to invest in new training to address skills gaps and support innovation or to improve existing courses. 

Organisation responsible: Defra

Follow the links below for more information and details on how to apply (links open in new window):

MSC Ocean Stewardship Fund

For marine businesses globally, there is a £1 million fund called the MSC Ocean Stewardship Fund. This is controlled by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  

This fund aims to increase the number of sustainable fisheries and is split between: 

  • Small-scale fisheries who are part of the In-Transition to MSC (ITM) programme  
  • Support to cover costs of implementing improvements  
  • Support to cover costs associated with progress verification  

It is only available for the financial year 2021/2022. 

Organisation Responsible: Marine Stewardship Council 

More information: Visit the MSC website for further information. 

England-specific Funding 

Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) 

This April the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will relaunch the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme.

The relaunch will continue to provide certainty to the seafood sector, with funding available up to April 2025.

The new iteration of the scheme will deliver investment to safeguard the long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity of the seafood sector across England.

The scheme will have simplified guidance – reflecting feedback from the first year – and will continue to evolve and improve throughout its lifetime.

If you have a project you would like to progress through the scheme, please do look out for the new guidance which will be published on the MMO’s website once the scheme is launched.

Please note that the re-launch will replace the existing scheme - which will no longer be considering new applications this financial year. Any project you would like to progress will be considered through the new scheme.

Organisation responsible: Marine Management Organisation

More information: Further information is available on the FaSS website and the MMO website.

Gavin Hatton
Regional Manager - Humber and North East of England
t:
+44 (0) 1472 252300
m:
+44 (0) 7871 310331

Scotland-specific Funding 

Marine Fund Scotland (MFS) 

For marine businesses in Scotland, there is a £14 million fund called Marine Fund Scotland (MFS). This fund is administered by Marine Scotland.  

This fund provides grants for projects in Scotland and is split between: 

  • Support for the fishing and seafood sector. 
  • Support for the marine environment. 
  • Support for coastal communities in Scotland. 

It is only available for the financial year 2021/2022. Any funded work must be finished by 31 March 2022.  

Relevant to: Commercial business across seafood supply chains including fishing, aquaculture processing and marketing; and ports and harbours. It may also cover aspects of environmental protection and improvement and coastal community support. Projects will be assessed against the Scottish Governments three priorities where projects help contribute to:  

  • A low carbon blue economy and help meet climate change targets 
  • Innovative, competitive, and sustainable jobs and fair work 
  • Fair and inclusive growth 

Organisation responsible: Marine Scotland 

More information: Further information is available on the MFS website and the Marine Scotland website.

Other funds available

For more information on other funds available in Scotland, get in touch with:

Jess Sparks
Scotland Regional Manager
t:
+44 (0) 1358 729609
m:
+44 (0) 7876 035753
Safety training in an indoor swimming pool
Fishing safety training in Scotland is supported by funds from the Marine Fund Scotland.

Northern Ireland-specific Funding

Maritime Fisheries Fund NI 

For marine businesses in Northern Ireland, there is a £14 million fund called Maritime Fisheries Fund (NI) (MFF(NI)). This is controlled by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).  

This fund offers grants for projects in Northern Ireland and is split between: 

  • Investment on board Fishing Vessels. 
  • Fishing Vessel Energy Improvements and Re-engineing. 
  • Aquaculture, Processing and Marketing. 
  • Investments to Shore Based Facilities. 
  • Partnership, Information Sharing, Advisory Services, Job Creation and Training.

The MFF funding programme for 2022/23 is now open until 31 March 2023.

More information: Follow this link to the MFF(NI) website. Follow this link to the DAERA website.

Other funds available

For more information on other funds available in Northern Ireland, get in touch with: 

Sally Chamberlain
Regional Manager Northern Ireland
m:
07866 141 872

Wales-specific Funding 

Wales’ fishing community is being invited to submit applications to a £1m fund to primarily help mitigate the ongoing impact Covid is having on the industry and adapt to the rapidly changing market conditions for seafood products. Find out more information about the fund

Details of the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) programme and scheme guidance can be found on the Welsh Government website at European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Other funds available

For more information on other funds available in Wales, get in touch with: 

Noemi Donigiewicz
Regional Manager Wales