£1M Grant Scheme to Support Seafood Businesses in England to Sell Catches - PKF Francis Clark
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£1M Grant Scheme to Support Seafood Businesses in England to Sell Catches

This blog looks at the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (£1m of the £10m) which opened today (Press Release – 29 April) and is largely taken from the webpage set up for the fund (which I have to say is pretty comprehensive in its detail)

We have blogged previously about the overarching fund to support the fishing sector:

  • The £10m fund to support the fishing sector announced on 17 April was in fact two funds; and
  • Some details on The Fisheries Response Fund (which will be £9m of the £10m) announced on 20 April (more to follow)

You can read more about this here.

Outline of the £1m grant scheme

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS) which will fund projects that will help seafood businesses in England increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets.

(Local seafood is defined as seafood landed in England and/or processed in England. This includes the use by English businesses of seafood landed into English ports by vessels or businesses that are not registered or owned in England.)

Funding available

The maximum grant award for a project is £100,000.  Applicants may apply for all or part of the total cost of the project.

The first 25% of the grant will be paid upfront by MMO (after application approved – see below), to help kick-start the project. The remainder will be paid in retrospect, on receipt of claims to the MMO.

Who can apply?

Applications are invited from groups of businesses in the fishing, aquaculture and fish processing industries or individual businesses engaged in activities which support the seafood supply chain.

You are not eligible to apply if:

  • Your project has already received funding or is seeking funding from other schemes
  • You have been convicted of a serious infringement under Article 42 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or Article 90 (1) of Regulation (EC) NO 1224/2009 in the 12 months before you apply
  • You have been convicted of fraud in the context of any fisheries funding schemes.

Projects sought

There is quite a bit of detail on DSSS webpage on the criteria that projects should be looking to meet, extracts below:

Key objectives to be meet / Projects sought that: Priority to projects that:
  • Facilitate new growth in markets through innovative regional distribution.
  • Support the development of infrastructure to sell seafood landed into English ports, or seafood processed in England to domestic consumers.
  • Help develop the infrastructure necessary for the catching and processing sectors to connect directly with consumers (e.g. either through online platforms or through facilitation on the ground).
  • Have the potential to generate longer-term sustainable benefit to the seafood industry, creating supply chain resilience
  • Create physical infrastructure that support new routes to market, which may need funds for storage or transportation
  • Create digital infrastructure that support new markets such as the development of an online platform
  • Aim to improve regional distribution through existing networks or connect previously unconnected regions in England


  • Have the potential to provide an economic return
  • Are able to support multiple businesses
  • Address the gaps in existing support
  • Support plant and equipment to help with local fish processing
  • Support resources that can be shared at port such as storage, refrigerated vans etc.
  • Support projects where private co-ordination/co-operation might not currently be viable, for example projects with a ‘regional’, ‘national’ or ‘sectoral’ focus
  • Have the majority of budget on assets, rather than salaries
  • Pay due regard to all legal, regulatory and health and safety issues, understand any risks involved and have mitigation in place
  • Are achievable in the immediate to short term to deliver benefits at pace
  • Support the longevity of seafood post Covid-19
  • Are able to provide an element of match funding, though this is not essential
  • Provide value for money

There is also detail/ explanatory text on some of the “project specific criteria”, together with “examples of eligible projects with scope” and “exclusions” on the DSSS webpage.

State Aid

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.

This applies if your undertaking has received other forms of support provided under the temporary state aid framework including the Fisheries Response Fund (FRF), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILs) and Bounce Back Loan scheme, and the total amount of benefits you have received from all schemes has exceeded €120,000 (around £105,000). Note this includes the value of the fees and 12 months interest received from the CBILS and Bounce Back Loans, not the amount of the loan. 

How to apply and more details

This is a competitive process, with applications assessed by a panel including industry representatives.

  • The application form is available to download.
  • Applications are open from 2pm on Wednesday 29 April, 2020 to noon on Monday 11 May, 2020.
  • The outcome of the panel considerations will be announced from Friday 15 May, 2020.

More details can be found on DSSS webpage and there are contact details for help:

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
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