£10 million fund to support the fishing sector - PKF Francis Clark
skip to Main Content
Merry Christmas! Our offices will be closed from 1pm on Christmas Eve, reopening on Tuesday 4 January.

£10 million fund to support the fishing sector

As of late yesterday (6 May) we have more details on the £10m fund to support the fishing sector, which being administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

It is in fact now being referred to as two funds:

£ Overview
9m Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) – will directly contribute towards the fixed business costs of over 1000 catching and aquaculture businesses that have been adversely impacted by the loss of export and domestic markets for fish and shellfish.

Further information on support for aquaculture business was released yesterday and is summarised below

1m This will fund grants for local projects in coastal communities. MMO will administer applications for this grants scheme.   Details announced on 29 April – read more here.

 

More details below on each element of FRF are set out on GOVUK webpage (and FAQ) and extracts are below.

 

FRF – Payments to the fishing vessel owners

Eligibility criteria

Qualifying fishing business vessel owners must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be the owner of an English registered fishing vessel under 24m (overall length)
  • The vessel must be currently registered with MCA
  • The vessel must be licenced to fish by MMO
  • The vessel must have sales of £10,000 or more as recorded on sales notes supplied to Registered Buyers and Sellers, during the period 1 March 2019 to 23 March 2020.

 

Fishing vessel owners may continue to fish, and may also qualify to receive payment in addition to other government assistance – see further below.

 

Funds payable

Funds payable under the FRF to fishing vessel owners for fixed business costs are calculated from the average fixed business costs for the size of vessels, as surveyed and published by the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), in their 2018 economic survey.  Further:

  • Eligible fishing vessel owners will receive fund payments for up to three months, with initial payments paid to cover two months (for April and May 2020). Payments will be made directly into nominated business bank accounts.
  • Fund payments may be extended to a third month, dependent upon a review of industry and market conditions.
  • Further updates on this will be given at the end of May.
  • Fund payment amounts will vary according to the overall length of the vessel, as detailed in the table in the guidance.

 

Administration and process

  • The FRF will be administered by MMO.
  • MMO will email fishing vessel owners in stages from Monday 20 April 2020 starting with the smaller vessels.
  • The email will contain an application form along with other documents, including a privacy notice and declaration.
  • The application form must be completed then returned to MMO by email along with other required documents, including identification and banking information.
  • Eligible businesses will receive payment directly into their business bank account.
  • To further support industry, MMO will also extend its opening hours to 7pm weekdays and to Saturdays.

 

More information

As per the guidance:

  • Further information available at gov.uk/mmo. To allow the grants team to work as quickly as possible through all applications, please avoid contacting them unless you have a query on a live application.
  • Fisheries Response Fund Telephone: 03300 416579 Opening Hours: 9-7 Mon-Fri, 9-1 Sat Email: [email protected]

 

FRF – payments to the aquaculture sectors

Eligibility criteria

To qualify, eligible businesses must:

  • Be an active shellfish or trout farm in 2018
  • Be located in England and produce shellfish or trout for direct human consumption
  • Have a Fish Health Inspectorate authorisation number for the business
  • Have a Fish Health Inspectorate authorisation number for the farm
  • Businesses may apply for or already be in receipt of government support already announced, provided they do not exceed the temporary state aid framework limit (see exclusions)

 

Exclusions:

  • Farms that only produce trout or other fish to restock lakes
  • Shellfish hatcheries, or businesses involved in the supply of juvenile fish or juvenile shellfish for aquaculture, or purifying shellfish prior to consumption (depuration)
  • Farms that supply ornamental fish, or research bodies
  • Aquaculture businesses that have already benefitted from the Fund will not be paid twice for the same business activity
  • Other aquaculture fish for human consumption such as tilapia, sturgeon or carp

Because the fishing industry is a sector that has benefitted from other state aid funding, this fund is subject to the temporary state aid framework, which may mean some projects and organisations may not be applicable.

 

Funds payable:

Businesses will be categorised into funding bands, according to the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE), as recorded in 2018, from the latest validated records available from the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI). This data has been selected as the best available verifiable data for the sector, providing an indicator of scale and business performance – table indicating amount payable per band can be found in the guidance issued by MMO.

 

Administration and process:

MMO will email or call eligible trout and shellfish aquaculture farms registered with the Fish Health Inspectorate from Wednesday 6 May 2020.

The email will contain an application form which should be completed, signed, and returned to MMO by email along with other required supporting documents, including identification and banking information, by 22 May 2020.

Eligible businesses will receive payment directly into their nominated business bank account. MMO aims to process payments within 24 hours of approval of the application form.

More information

 

As per the guidance:

  • Further information available at uk/mmo. To allow the grants team to work as quickly as possible through all applications, please avoid contacting them unless you have a query on a live application.
  • Fisheries Response Fund Telephone: 03300 416579 Opening Hours: 9-7 Mon-Fri, 9-1 Sat Email: [email protected]

 

Other government assistance

It will also be important for the sector to be aware of the other available support including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is live for applications from Monday 20 April, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes to protect their businesses and jobs of their employees.

FEATURING: Richard Wadman
Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1993. Since 2006 he has worked in Corporate Finance, firstly with the predecessor firm in Truro… read more
Back To Top