New GBP 30 million boost for UK seafood
The U.K. government has made an additional GBP 30 million (USD 35.6 million, EUR 34.7 million) in funding available for infrastructure projects that modernize the nation’s seafood sector.
The U.K. government previously allocated GBP 20 million (USD 23.7 million, EUR 23.1 million) in funding to expand processing facilities for popular species like Scottish salmon, mackerel, and herring. The U.K. government announced on 25 November that a further GBP 30 million is available as part of the GBP 100 million (USD 118.7 million, EUR 115.6 million) U.K. Seafood Fund.
This latest round of funding is now open for bidding, with businesses given until March 2025 to deliver projects.
According to U.K. Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer, the funding will ensure seafood businesses throughout the supply chain are well-equipped to keep pace with increasing demands at home and abroad, boosting production and sustainability and building a resilient sector for the future.
“Fishing communities are an important part of the U.K.’s heritage, and they make a valuable contribution to our economy, so we are backing them with funds to boost growth and opportunities across the industry,” Spencer said.
The infrastructure strand of the U.K. Seafood Fund helps to pay for upgrades to ports, processing, and aquaculture facilities. It also supports businesses to become more environmentally sustainable, with successful bidders in the first funding round investing in greener technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to more reusable materials.
Among those successful bidders were Denholm Seafoods, which received almost GBP 3 million (USD 3.6 million, EUR 3.5 million) in funding it will use to install new equipment to increase production of mackerel and herring landed at Peterhead. Another successful bidder was Mowi Scotland, which was awarded GBP 2 million (USD 2.4 million, EUR 2.3 million) in funding to invest in modernization of equipment that will vastly speed up both the processing and dispatch of its products.
"The upgrade to our salmon processing plant in Fort William, Scotland, is vital to ensuring the U.K. remains competitive in a very global seafood market. The U.K. Seafood Fund Infrastructure Scheme comes at an important time, helping to safeguard and grow our domestic food supply as well as securing local jobs in rural communities,” Mowi Scotland Operations Director Processing and Sales Scott Nolan said.
U.K. Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said he was happy to see Scottish expertise securing a share of the multimillion-pound funding.
“From substantially increasing the production of mackerel and herring in Peterhead, to speeding up the processing and sale of salmon from the West Highlands, the investment will boost innovation and sustainability,” he said. "Scotland's seafood, aquaculture and science sectors are world renowned. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them to ensure that this funding – and future allocations – helps deliver a sustainable and profitable future."
The U.K. government’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will also shortly announce successful applicants from the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme, part of the UK Seafood Fund, which funds data collection and research to support sustainable fisheries management.
The final FISP round will launch in December 2022.
Photo courtesy of Denholm Seafoods