The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has announced the fast-tracking of grants to help England’s ports and fishing industry through the next phase of the COVID-19 crisis.
The government department is inviting applications for grants to help ports or harbours impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to provide health and safety equipment for fishing vessel owners.
MMO has re-purposed the balance of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and allocated £500,000 to projects for ports or harbours and £300,000 to fishing vessel owners or licence holders for health and safety improvements.
Grants of up to £100,000 each are available for existing projects that are aimed at mitigating impacts of Covid-19 at ports and harbours and bringing benefits to the local area. Applications will be assessed and judged on a competitive basis with grants awarded to those best meeting the criteria and aims of this fund. The closing date for fully formed applications including all required documentation is 29 November 2020.
Awards of up to £50,000 each are available for health and safety improvements on board fishing vessels. This fund is open now and applications will be assessed and awarded on individual merit as and when they are received, until the fund is fully committed. The fund criteria is available here.
Applicants are asked to note that their requests will only be considered once all the required documentation is received. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for resubmission.
Tom McCormack, CEO of the Marine Management organisation, said:
“We have re-purposed the remaining EMFF funds to be able to provide a rapid response to help mitigate some of the immediate impacts of Covid-19. It is a good opportunity to increase investment in our ports and harbours infrastructure and in vital health and safety improvements on board fishing boats, supporting our fishing community.”
The MMO has administered the EMFF and other funds investing over £40m in the fishing industry and coastal communities since launching in 2016. This year a further £9m across the industry through the Fisheries Response Fund and the Domestic Seafood Support Scheme.