Grants under the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) have now exceeded the budget for 2023, and the scheme has closed to new applications.
The scheme, administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on behalf of Defra, aims to support the ‘long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity’ of the English seafood sector. Since opening in 2021, it has invested £25.9m in over 1,200 projects across the catching, aquaculture and processing sectors, as well as projects aiming to improve the marine environment.
Applications that are currently being processed and have been acknowledged by the MMO Grants Team will still be assessed, and the team will contact recent applicants who have yet to receive an acknowledgement to advise them of the next steps. If your application meets the eligibility criteria for the final year of the scheme, you will not need to reapply and your existing application will be progressed.
The expectation is that the MMO will reopen a modified version of the FaSS in early 2024 to deliver the final year’s budget. In the meantime, it says, ‘potential applicants should be aware that funding is still available to modify and replace engines through the UK Seafood Fund’.
Graeme High, the MMO’s head of grants, said: “We are delighted that the financial assistance from FaSS has attracted so much interest from industry, and that we’ve been able to support so many projects from seafood and marine businesses, charities and other organisations across England.
“As well as accepting applications from smaller projects throughout the year, our review panels for larger projects have approved 13 applications this year with a total project cost of just under £4m.
“We look forward to building on the success of this round when FaSS reopens in early 2024.”
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