Ministers announced the extra cash last night to provide better local infrastructure around the country’s harbours to mark the first anniversary of the UK’s exit from the EU’s single market this weekend.
They aim to strengthen the fishing industry’s ability to land more fish in the UK and take the produce to market faster.
The taxpayer-funded investment has been earmarked for improving the capacity and efficiency of fishing harbours and processing facilities.
Ministers say the move will boost the long-term sustainability of the fishing industry and support jobs while crews seize the increased opportunity opened up by the UK’s departure from Brussels-run Commons Fisheries Policy.
The initiative is seen in Whitehall as part of the Government’s drive to “level up” the UK by spreading investment to previously neglected parts of the country.
A £65million infrastructure fund will be made available for projects such including modernising ports and harbours alongside increasing capacity and efficiency at processing and aquaculture facilities.
Officials at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will run a competition seeking to identify the best projects.
Schemes that reduce carbon emissions, help increase the sustainability of the fishing industry and contribute towards the Government’ss commitment to reach “Net Zero” in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Up to £10 million will also be used to encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, alongside training and improving the skills of current workers in the industry.
Environment Secretary George Eustice last night hailed the progress made by the UK fishing industry since the finalisation of the agreement governing the country’s exit from the single market and Common Fisheries Policy.
He said: “A year on from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a positive picture is emerging for our fishing industry.
“Today, we are announcing a £65 million infrastructure scheme which will allow us to modernise ports and harbours and increase capacity and efficiency at processing facilities.
“A £10 million 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.”
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “This multi-million pound investment will have a real and tangible impact on coastal communities across country and the UK fish industry.
“It will support the creation of jobs and training opportunities that will help put the industry on a sure footing for the future.
“We are working hard to boost local communities and spread opportunity to every corner of the country as we level up the nation.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “The UK Government is committed to Wales’s fishing industry and to ensuring its many coastal communities enjoy a sustainable, prosperous future.
“I encourage everyone in Wales eligible to apply for this funding to take up the opportunity to upskill their workforce, improve facilities, drive innovation and boost recruitment.”
Scotland Office minister Malcolm Offord said: “We want to guarantee our fishing industry has a bright future and today’s allocation of funding is a great step forward. From upgrading ports and improving processing facilities to boosting training and encouraging recruitment, it all brings a massive boost for the industry.
“Our engagement with Scotland’s fish and seafood sector is ongoing. We are listening to concerns and we are acting upon them for the benefit of business owners, workers and Scotland’s wider coastal communities.”