UK’s fishing infrastructure set for boost as £30m fund opens

BIDDING has opened for a share of a £30 million fund aimed at boosting the infrastructure of the UK fishing sector.

It comes as part of the UK Government’s £100 million UK Seafood Fund, which looks to support the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fishing and seafood industry.

The infrastructure strand of the fund will help to pay for upgrades to ports, as well as processing and aquaculture facilities so they can meet future demand whilst also boosting jobs and economic growth.

It also supports businesses to become more environmentally sustainable, with successful bidders in a previous round of the infrastructure fund investing in greener technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to more reusable materials.

Successful bidders from the first round of infrastructure funding include Denholm Seafoods, which received £3 million in funding to install new equipment to increase production of mackerel and herring at Peterhead.

In the West Highlands, Mowi Scotland – an aquaculture processing facility for salmon – was awarded £2 million to investment in new, modern equipment that will ‘vastly’ speed up the processing and despatch of their products.

UK fisheries minister, Mark Spencer, said, “Fishing communities are an important part of the UK’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. This funding will ensure seafood businesses throughout the supply chain are well-equipped to keep pace with increasing demand at home and abroad, boosting production and sustainability and building a resilient sector for the future.”

UK Government minister for Scotland, John Lamont, added, “It’s fantastic to see Scottish expertise securing a share of this multi-million pound UK Government 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.

“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.”