Marine Scotland Funding Under the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)

The GBER scheme aims to support sustainable development and support growth and jobs in UK coastal communities.

Introduction and Background

The GBER scheme aims to support sustainable development and support growth and jobs in UK coastal communities. The funding is being made available through the GBER Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014. It carries its own regulatory requirements and eligibility criteria. Through the scheme up to £3 million is available in Scotland.

The funding carries state-aid requirements that must be adhered to and therefore reporting by value and regions is fundamental to the draw down on funds.

The Marine and Fisheries Fund (MFF) e-system was developed to allow applicants to apply online for  support. It will enable applicants to manage and track their applications on line, submit claims, progress reports and upload any documents directly on to the system.  Applicants working in the fishing and maritime sectors will be able to apply to the MFF for support to fund sustainable development and support growth and jobs in coastal communities. 

The MFF system is can be accessed here -

GBER broadly follows the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) model with different in eligible articles and applicant types (noted below).  The scheme will close on the 31st December 2020.

Objective of the Aid

The scheme is operated in full compliance with the EC regulation 651/2014 and utilises the following articles within that Regulation:


Article 30 – Aid for research and development in the fisheries and aquaculture sector

Grant can only be given to research bodies, not to businesses involved in producing, processing and/or marketing fisheries/aquaculture products.  Eligible costs shall broadly cover personnel, instruments & equipment, buildings & land, contractural research, overheads & expenses, details are in Art. 25(3) of GBER.

Before the project starts the following must be published on the internet –

  • That the project will be carried out
  • The goals of the project
  • Approx date for the publication of results & place of publication
  • A note that results will be available for free

It will be a condition of grant that the results are made available on the internet from the end of the project, or the date they are 1st given to any outside body, and are available for at least 5 years from that point.

Article 31 – Aid for training

Aid shall not be granted for training that only meets national mandatory standards.  Costs can include – trainers personnel costs, operating costs directly relating to the training, advisory services, trainees costs, indirect costs (overheads) (further detail in Art. 31(3)(b) GBER).

Aid intensity

The aid intensity for each article differs as below;

Article 30 - The aid intensity shall not exceed 100 % of the eligible costs.

Article 31 - The aid intensity shall not exceed 50 % of the eligible costs. It may be increased, up to a maximum aid intensity of 70 % in specified circumstances.

Article 31 (5) - Where the aid is granted in the maritime transport sector, the aid intensity may be increased to 100 % of the eligible costs provided that the following conditions are met:

(a) the trainees are not active members of the crew but are supernumerary on board; and

(b) the training is carried out on board of ships entered in Union registers.                                                                                                                  


We will publicise the awards of grant on the Scottish Government website.

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