Government announce £75m boost to modernise UK fishing industry

Fishing communities across the UK will benefit from better infrastructure, strengthened supply chains, new jobs and an investment in skills thanks to a £75m boost for the sector announced by UK Government.

The investment will strengthen the sector’s ability to land more fish in the UK and take them to market faster. This will be achieved by improving the capacity and efficiency of our harbours and processing facilities while boosting the long-term sustainability of the fishing industry and supporting jobs, increasing opportunities for coastal communities and levelling up across the country.

A £65m infrastructure scheme will be made available for projects such as modernising ports and harbours alongside increasing capacity and efficiency at processing and aquaculture facilities. A competition will be run to identify the best projects, prioritising those that reduce carbon emissions, helping increase the sustainability of the sector and contributing towards the UK’s commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050.

Up to £10m will also be used to encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, alongside training and upskilling current workers. We will do this by offering an improved package of training to people joining the industry and making it easier for people from coastal communities to progress through their career.

The two funding schemes are the second and third parts of the £100m UK Seafood Fund designed to level up coastal communities across the UK. This follows the Science and Innovation pillar, announced in September, which is investing in new technology, trialling new gear and supporting world-class research to improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the industry.

The investment will ensure the industry and coastal communities are equipped to benefit from additional quota gained as a result of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed last year with the EU.  Following our departure from the Common Fisheries Policy, there have been uplifts in quota for UK vessels, with the value of UK-EU fishing opportunities for the UK in 2021 totalling approximately £333m.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:  “A year on from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a positive picture is emerging for our fishing industry. Today, we are announcing a £65m infrastructure scheme which will allow us to modernise ports and harbours and increase capacity and efficiency at processing facilities. A £10m fund will encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, and train and upskill those in the industry. We are committed to levelling up coastal communities across the UK, and this marks a period of rejuvenation for our fishing industry.”