What is the UK Seafood Fund (USF)?
The USF is a £100 million fund set up to support the long term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector. The fund is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The fund supports projects, ideas and technologies that aim to disrupt the seafood sector. Disruptive innovation is when the application of the technology or idea has a significant impact on the industry or the market.
This fund is in place to support the UK fisheries and seafood industries and covers three areas:
- Science and Innovation
- Skills and Training
Science and Innovation scheme
Under the Science and Innovation fund, there are two programmes which share a fund of £24m. These programmes are the Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) and the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP).
Up to £65 million in grant funding is available through the infrastructure scheme. The scheme funds projects that build capacity across the UK fishing sector supply chain.
Skills and training scheme
Up to £10 million is available for skills and training in the sector to attract new recruits and improve workforce retention.
The main objectives of the UK Fund is to:
- reform and modernise infrastructure in order to ‘level up’ – and bring economic growth to – coastal communities;
- ensure the best science, research and technology is used in fisheries management;
- encourage new entrants to the industry, while upskilling current members; and
- enable an environmentally sustainable fishing industry.
Applicants can apply for funding if they are involved in fishing, processing or aquaculture and are:
- A public body (including trust ports, local authority ports and public charities).
- A private small to medium-sized enterprise (SME).
- A private non-SME.
- A fisherman’s association.
- A private trust and foundation.
- A trade association.
- An officially recognised producer organisation.