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Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23: general guidance notes

General guidance notes for prospective applicants to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23, including information on who can apply and how to apply.


What types of projects can apply to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23?

The Marine Fund Scotland is a relatively small fund and where possible we will seek to use it strategically to deliver wider benefits. Applications for projects that demonstrate wider collective benefit (e.g. positive outcomes for communities) beyond, or at least in addition to, benefits for an individual organisation, business or person, will be scored more highly. More detail about the approach to scoring applications is set out in the 'How will applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 be assessed?' section of these General Guidance notes. We encourage applications for funding support for investments that have clear added value, in particular by addressing market failures or sub-optimal investment situations.

There is no comprehensive list of projects, sectors or groups that can apply to the Marine Fund Scotland. This is to ensure as much flexibility as possible to encourage and support innovative ideas.

However, to be eligible to apply a project must:

  • be within the scope of Scottish Ministers' grant funding powers under the Fisheries Act 2020, which are being relied upon (as set out in the 'What legislative powers are being used to deliver funding through the Marine Fund Scotland?' section of these General Guidance notes), in that the project falls within the specific purposes for which Scottish Ministers can offer funding and that the project is in relation to Scotland, the Scottish zone or Scottish fishing boats.
  • meet the other eligibility criteria for the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 (as set out in the 'Eligibility criteria for the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23' section of these General Guidance notes).
  • clearly deliver benefits that are in line with the desired outcomes of the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 (as set out in the 'Outcomes for the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23' section of these General Guidance notes).

Some examples of the types of projects that may apply to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 are at Annex A.

There are also some types of projects that Marine Fund Scotland funding cannot be applied for. These categories are listed in Annex B.

As in the Marine Fund Scotland 2021-22, the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 will accept applications from new entrants seeking to purchase a first fishing vessel or a first share in a vessel ('young fishers'). These applications must meet additional eligibility criteria as well as the general eligibility criteria. More information is set out in the 'Young Fishers' section of these General Guidance notes.

The Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 will not support direct engine replacements or upgrades (i.e. diesel engine for diesel engine, or upgrading a diesel engine). However, at this stage we will consider applications for funding to support the testing of novel engine technologies as part a study or trial to test feasibility and impact.

The Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 will not support like-for-like replacements or routine upgrades of fishing gear. However, at this stage we will consider applications for funding to support the development/adaptation of gear and fishing techniques to reduce impacts on biodiversity and/or natural capital (e.g. improving selectivity), and/or reduce carbon emissions.

The Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 will not support the replacement of creels or basic design changes such as development of escape hatches. However, we will consider support towards novel and innovative approaches relating to creels, particularly where they deliver significant improvements on the interaction of creel gear with other marine species and the environment.

The Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 is for projects starting in the 2022-23 financial year. At the time of publishing these General Guidance notes (June 2022), funding is only available for expenditure up to 31 March 2023. This means any purchases or work carried out on your project must have been completed and fully paid for by 31 March 2023.

This position may change and the Fund may be opened up to applications for funding beyond 31 March 2023 later in this financial year. However, this is not certain at this stage and it should not be assumed that this will happen. These General Guidance notes will be updated to reflect any changes, and updates will also be published on the Marine Fund Scotland webpages.

The Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 is a competitive grant funding scheme. There is no automatic entitlement to any funds and so there is no guarantee that your project will be offered funding, even if it is eligible to apply. Only those projects which are eligible and most clearly deliver on the outcomes for the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 will be supported.

In addition, where an offer of grant funding is made under the Marine Fund Scotland, this may not be for the full amount of funding applied for.

Cut-off dates for the Marine Fund Scotland application rounds will be published on our webpages. Applications that are fully complete and submitted by the cut-off date for a round will be assessed during that round. An application is only complete when all relevant information on the application form has been filled in, all the necessary supporting documentation has been included and, where this is necessary for assessing your application, you have provided any additional information or documentation that we have requested from you.

Incomplete applications will be placed on hold. We will send you an e-mail to let you know if we have had to put your application on hold, and what further information we need to process your application.

If your application is placed on hold because it is incomplete it will not progress to the assessment stage. This is even if you have submitted the incomplete application by the cut-off date for an application round. Your application will only be taken off hold and progress to assessment when you have supplied any missing information and we have confirmed that your application is fully complete.

Please familiarise yourself with the application round cut-off dates so that you can plan by when you need to have gathered all the information for your application, and submitted a complete application.

Contact

Email: MFS@gov.scot

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