As mentioned earlier in these General Guidance notes, the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 will accept applications from new entrants seeking to purchase a first fishing vessel or a first share in a vessel ('young fishers').
For these applications:
- the maximum grant rate that can be applied for is 40% of the overall cost.
- the grant rate is applied to the cost of the vessel or share, not the cost of a licence or quota.
- the maximum grant amount that can be applied for is £75,000 per applicant.
- the maximum total grant amount that can be applied for over multiple applications relating to the same vessel is £150,000.
- only vessels up to 24 metres (overall length) are eligible.
Applications from young fishers must meet additional eligibility criteria as well as the general eligibility criteria that are listed in the 'Eligibility criteria for the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24' section of these Guidance notes.
The additional eligibility criteria that applications from young fishers must meet and will need to provide evidence for in their application are as follows:
- the applicant must be under 40 years old.
- the vessel must be a registered fishing vessel in the UK.
- the vessel must be a least three years old.
- the vessel must have a safety certificate.
- the applicant must submit an independent valuation of the vessel.
- for vessels up to 16 metres in length, the applicant must have at least 3 years' commercial fishing experience (beginning at the earliest from the age of 18).
- for vessels from 16 metres to 24 metres in length, the applicant must have 5 years' commercial fishing experience (beginning at the earliest from the age of 18).
- the applicant must submit a personal statement with their application, explaining why they are looking to purchase a vessel and explaining any wider benefits of the purchase beyond their own benefit, for example benefits for the community, or creation or retention of jobs as a result of the purchase.
If successful, you must complete the purchase and registration of the vessel to confirm ownership by 31 March 2024 or your offer of funding may be rescinded.
For young fishers whose applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 are successful, please note that in order to claim the grant funding you will need to submit:
- confirmation of ownership of the vessel/share, e.g. certificate of registry.
- a completed post-purchase outcomes assessment questionnaire, which we will provide.
If you want to apply for funding as a young fisher but are unsure of the amount of funding you are able to apply for or have other questions, feel free to contact us at MFS@gov.scot.
Young fishers who want to apply and who have identified a vessel to purchase
If possible, you should identify the vessel you plan to purchase at the point of application, and supply all supporting documentation to address the eligibility criteria for the vessel as listed above (vessel age, size, UK registered, safety certificate and valuation).
If the purchase of the vessel or the share in the vessel falls through, you must notify us immediately. You must then follow the steps below for those who have not identified a vessel.
Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure that the vessel meets the relevant eligibility criteria. If you are unsure whether a vessel meets the eligibility criteria, you can contact us on MFS@gov.scot with the name of the vessel you are planning to purchase and we can help you to check this.
Young fishers who want to apply but have not yet identified a vessel to purchase
You can still apply for funding if you have not yet identified a specific vessel to purchase. In this case, you must complete the application form as fully as possible, attaching all other relevant information and supporting documentation.
If your application for Marine Fund Scotland funding is successful, you will need to identify the vessel you have purchased at the claim stage in order to complete your grant claim. You will need to provide supporting documentation with your claim to demonstrate that the vessel meets the relevant eligibility criteria, as listed in the 'Young Fishers' section above (e.g. on vessel age, size, UK registered, safety certificate and valuation). If the vessel you have purchased does not meet these criteria, then your offer of funding may be rescinded.
Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure that the vessel that you plan to purchase on the basis of your successful application for Marine Fund Scotland funding meets the eligibility criteria before you purchase it. If you are unsure whether a vessel meets the eligibility criteria, you can contact us on MFS@gov.scot with the name of the vessel you are planning to purchase and we can help you to check this.
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