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:
- is registered in the UK under Part 2 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995
- is registered at a port in the UK
- has a valid commercial fishing licence
- belongs to a fleet segment which is in ‘balance’ – this means not targeting stocks that are at risk of being harvested unsustainably – the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will check this
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
- 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
Go to the UKFSS website.
Select ‘Start now’.
Read and complete each page on the system – select ‘Next’ or ‘Back’ to move between each page.
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
- Applicant guidance on funding for fleet modernisation – this explains the requirements and criteria for this round
- Terms and conditions template
- Privacy notice
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:
- complete all online fields
- upload all documents listed above and those listed under section 2, paragraph 72 of the applicant guidance on funding for fleet modernisation
- submit your application
Ask a question
You can submit questions about the application process or general enquiries within the UK Fisheries Support System:
Log in and select ‘Ask a question’.
Select the scheme you would like to ask a question about, then select a category and a subject.
Enter your question in the text box provided and select ‘Submit question’.
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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