Apply for the UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure Scheme round 3

Find out how to apply for round 3: fleet modernisation – engine replacement and engine modifications.

Up to £2 million in grant funding is available to modernise commercial fishing vessels with replacement or modified engines.

This is a trial to gather evidence which will be used to shape future funding opportunities. To get funding, you must be involved in our evaluation process.

The £2 million is from a total of £10 million in grant funding that will be available to the catching sector.

The Infrastructure Scheme is part of the UK Seafood Fund.

When to apply

Round 3: fleet modernisation is now open for applications.

Round 3 will be open for applications until midday on 13 December 2024, or until all funding has been allocated – whichever happens first.

All successful projects must be completed and funding claimed by 31 March 2025.

Who can apply

You can apply for funding if you have a commercial fishing vessel that:

Projects that can be funded

Defra can fund the modification, replacement and fitting costs of:

  • new electric and hybrid engines, to replace petrol and diesel engines of any age
  • new petrol and diesel engines, to replace existing petrol and diesel engines manufactured before January 2016
  • modifications to a vessel that are required to install a new engine
  • engine modifications that reduce fuel use or emissions, including the introduction of hydrogen injection technology to reduce fuel use
  • engine modifications to allow alternative fuels to be used in existing engines that emit fewer emissions

Defra will allocate funding on a first come first served basis to applicants who meet the criteria.

You need to provide match funding for your project. You must include evidence that you will provide match funding when you submit your application.

How to apply

You must apply using the UK Fisheries Support System (UKFSS).

Before you apply

You must contact a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) marine office to:

  • get advice about your project and possible implications for the safety and stability of your vessel
  • find out what forms you need to submit to the MCA for approval – this may include a cost for an inspection, at £147 per hour, which you cannot claim back

You must upload a copy of your forms and the email you sent to MCA on the UKFSS.

Register on UKFSS

  1. Go to the UKFSS website.

  2. Select ‘Start now’.

  3. Read and accept the terms of use for the service and select ‘Create an account’.

  4. Read and complete each page on the system – select ‘Next’ or ‘Back’ to move between each page.

  5. Once you have chosen a password, select ‘Create Account’.

You will be sent an email with a link to confirm and activate your account.

Read the application documents

Complete and submit your application

Complete the application form.

All questions will be scored with either a pass or fail. You will need to pass all questions for your application to progress further.

Log in to your account on the UKFSS and:

Ask a question

You can submit questions about the application process or general enquiries within the UK Fisheries Support System:

  1. Log in and select ‘Ask a question’.

  2. Select the scheme you would like to ask a question about, then select a category and a subject.

  3. Enter your question in the text box provided and select ‘Submit question’.

Match funding

The amount of match funding you need to provide will depend on the engine being fitted or modified:

  • for an electric or hybrid engine you can apply for a maximum of 90% of the costs, up to a maximum of £160,000
  • for a diesel or petrol engine, you can apply for a maximum of 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of £80,000

If you are not sure what level of match funding you are entitled to, please use the ‘Ask a question’ service on UKFSS.

If your application is successful

You will receive a grant funding agreement through the UKFSS. You need to accept the agreement and agree the commencement date with the MMO before you start your project.

If your application is unsuccessful

You will be notified by the UKFSS.

You can re-apply to future schemes if you are eligible.

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Published 27 January 2023
Last updated 17 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Grant funding is available to modernise commercial fishing vessels with replacement or modified engines as part of the UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure Scheme (round 3).

  2. We have changed these bullet points in the "who can apply" section to make it clearer: • has a valid commercial fishing licence • is part of the small-scale coastal fleet: is a fishing vessel with an overall length of 11.99 meters or less which uses static (non-towed) gear

  3. First published.