The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a new £1 million Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme grant programme to increase the supply of local seafood. The scheme will fund measures that assist the industry to set up local and regional distribution such as plant and equipment to help with local fish processing, or assets that can be shared at port such as storage and refrigerated vans.
The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme is part of a £10 million fund for England’s fishing and aquaculture sectors and will fund projects that will help seafood businesses in England increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets.
Seafood businesses that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can bid for funds for assets and infrastructure to sell seafood.
As well as this financial support, qualifying seafood businesses may also qualify for other Government support. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has produced a guide to what is available.
The scheme will help seafood businesses adapt to changes in their markets caused by COVID-19 by helping fund changes to businesses and/or infrastructure that will help them to sell their products domestically, and support projects that increase domestic consumption of seafood landed or processed in England.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will accept applications for projects that support domestic sales of locally-caught fish and shellfish from Wednesday 29 April to Monday 11 May.
Projects will be assessed by a panel including industry representatives. Successful applications will be announced from Friday 15 May.
Further information about the scheme and how to apply is available on the GOV.UK website.