Marine Fund Scotland 2023 to 2024: guidance

General guidance notes for applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2023 to 2024.

How will applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 be assessed?

Eligibility checks (stage one)

All applications submitted to the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 will first go through technical, due diligence, and eligibility checks. These include checking that all of the applications are fully completed and all of the required supporting information and/or documentation has been provided.

If an application is complete, meets all of the eligibility criteria, all relevant documentation has been included, and is not in breach of the rules and obligations listed in the 'Additional rules and obligations' section of these General Guidance notes, the application will move onto the second stage of the assessment process. This second stage is the outcomes assessment.

Outcomes assessment (stage two)

In the outcomes assessment, each application will be scored for how well it meets the outcomes for the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 (as listed in the 'Outcomes for the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24' section of these Guidance notes), which support Scotland's Blue Economy Vision. Each outcome is made up of a series of criteria. All projects will be assessed and scored against all criteria and therefore all outcomes.

For each criterion, a project will be given either a:

  • positive score (meaning it meets the criterion);
  • negative score (meaning it delivers things that are contrary to the criterion); or
  • 'not-applicable' score (meaning the project is not relevant for the criterion).

The framework that will be used to score applications is set out in more detail at Annex D.

Projects do not have to meet all criteria to be successful. However, all projects must achieve a positive score for all of the criteria under Outcome 5 – "Delivering quality projects" in order to be considered for an offer of grant.

Projects that meet more criteria will receive a higher total score. The total score for each outcome (and the application as a whole) will be used to make a decision about which projects will be offered grant funding.

The outcomes assessment will be carried out by officials from the Scottish Government's Marine Scotland Directorate who cover a range of different topics and policy areas. The application scores will then be considered together by a small group of officials ('the assessment panel'). The assessment panel will make the final decisions on which applications will receive an offer of grant, based on the scores each application has received. Projects that score most highly are most likely to receive a grant offer.



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