Guidance

Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS): how to apply for project funding

Guidance on how to apply for the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS) and download application form.

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS) is now closed for applications.

Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS), administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), has been set up to help seafood businesses in England to increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets.

The government’s new DSSS will provide grant funding to projects that help to increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets and help to increase consumption of locally caught seafood in the UK (whether live, fresh, landed and/or processed in England).

The £1 million grants scheme will help to support the fishing and fish processing sectors adversely affected by the downturn in export markets due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications are invited for projects that support the industry to adapt to domestic sales and be equipped for local and regional distribution, for example with plant and equipment to help with local seafood processing, or assets that can be shared at port such as storage and refrigerated vans.

In the longer term, the fund interventions will assist local economies of coastal communities, to help increase domestic consumption of seafood, improve food security and help ensure the UK population has ready access to a healthy and nutritious food source.

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme is funded by HM Treasury and the Maritime and Fisheries Fund (MFF). It is administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and is a joint endeavour between Defra, MMO, Seafish and the fishing industry.

Local seafood is defined as seafood landed in England and/or processed in England. This includes the use by English businesses of seafood landed into English ports by vessels or businesses that are not registered or owned in England.

The DSSS is a competitive process, with grants being awarded for projects to a maximum of £100,000.

Applicants may apply for all or part of the total cost of the project.

To allow projects to progress at pace, applicants will receive 25% of the grant award in advance (any advance payments will be offset against future claim reimbursements). All claims will require supporting invoices.

All funding under the DSSS must be spent by 31st December 2020.

See our one stop shop guide for further information on other support available for businesses and individuals.

Who can apply

Applications for projects are invited from businesses in the fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing industries engaged in activities which support the seafood supply chain in England.

Applicants may also apply for, or be in receipt of, a wide range of government schemes already announced to support businesses and individuals impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. See our one stop shop guide for further information.

You are not eligible to apply if:

  • Your project has already been fully funded or is seeking full funding from other schemes
  • You have been convicted of a serious infringement under Article 42 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or Article 90 (1) of Regulation (EC) NO 1224/2009 in the 12 months before you apply
  • You have been convicted of fraud in the context of any fisheries funding schemes.

Because the fishing industry is a sector that has benefitted from other state aid funding, this fund is subject to the temporary state aid framework, which may mean some projects and organisations may not be applicable.

This applies if your undertaking has received other forms of support provided under the temporary state aid framework including the Fisheries Response Fund (FRF), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILs) and Bounce Back Loan scheme, and the total amount of benefits you have received from all schemes has exceeded €120,000 (around £105,000). Note this includes the value of the fees and 12 months interest received from the CBILS and Bounce Back Loans, not the amount of the loan.

How to apply

The application form is available to download.

Applications are open from 2pm on Wednesday 29 April, 2020 to noon on Monday 11 May, 2020.

How awards will be decided

The government is working closely with the fisheries and seafood industry to support them through this challenging period. This is a joint endeavour between Defra, the MMO, Seafish, and the fishing industry, and this is reflected in the make-up of a decision-making panel with representatives from industry.

This panel will assess and score projects against the criteria shown below

Criteria overview

Project applications should meet any or all of the following key objectives:

  • Facilitate new growth in markets through innovative regional distribution.
  • Support the development of infrastructure to sell seafood landed into English ports, or seafood processed in England to domestic consumers.
  • Help develop the infrastructure necessary for the catching and processing sectors to connect directly with consumers (e.g. either through online platforms or through facilitation on the ground).
  • Have the potential to generate longer-term sustainable benefit to the seafood industry, creating supply chain resilience

The panel is looking for projects that:

  • create physical infrastructure that support new routes to market, which may need funds for storage or transportation
  • create digital infrastructure that support new markets such as the development of an online platform
  • aim to improve regional distribution through existing networks or connect previously unconnected regions in England

The awards panel will place priority on projects that:

  • Have the potential to provide an economic return
  • Are able to support multiple businesses
  • Address the gaps in existing support
  • Support plant and equipment to help with local fish processing
  • Support resources that can be shared at port such as storage, refrigerated vans etc.
  • Support projects where private co-ordination/co-operation might not currently be viable, for example projects with a ‘regional’, ‘national’ or ‘sectoral’ focus
  • Have the majority of budget on assets, rather than salaries
  • Pay due regard to all legal, regulatory and health and safety issues, understand any risks involved and have mitigation in place
  • Are achievable in the immediate to short term to deliver benefits at pace
  • Support the longevity of seafood post Covid-19
  • Are able to provide an element of match funding, though this is not essential
  • Provide value for money

Project specific criteria

Supply and demand

The project should help to meet the demand to bring seafood to people who want it but can’t access it in their homes. It should help increase demand for seafood in an area where there is supply.

Infrastructure

Projects may create physical or digital infrastructure that supports new routes to market. They may improve regional distribution (if existing networks existed), or connect previously unconnected regions (if existing networks did not exist).

Regional benefits

The project should deliver benefits for your area. It should make a difference by helping to sustain or create employment, open new routes to market in regions that are already connected or create new connections where they don’t already exist between regions.

If possible, you should demonstrate how the project enables regional cooperation and/or supports businesses or organisations beyond your own in the supply chain or in the community. You may organise collaborations, between catching, merchants and processing locally or in regions.

Longevity

The scheme is intended to support a rapid response to the immediate needs of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but if it has potential to sustain beyond this period and contribute to the long-term development of markets you should describe this. Legality

You project must be compliant with all relevant legal requirements, including fishing and environmental health regulations. You may need to confirm the environmental health regulations applying in your area with your local authority.

Safety

You should consider all relevant health and safety requirements relevant to your project and describe how you will ensure you are compliant.

Achievability

Given the immediate requirements, you will need to demonstrate how you expect to deliver the project successfully in the immediate to short term and will deliver benefits at pace. A clear management plan describing the project will help.

Value for money

The panel will consider how the project will create an economic return. It is important that there are tangible benefits gained as a result of the grant, such as additional revenue or turnover. Any additional value the project might bring should be included.

Match funding

Projects that provide match-funding will be scored more highly by the selection panel as these projects can demonstrate businesses’ capability and commitment to deliver longer term sustainable projects. However, match-funding is not an essential condition for projects to be accepted, as the DSSS is intended to assist in a time of crisis when cash flow may be a problem for some businesses.

Speed

The DSSS is intended to provide funds to enable a rapid response to the current situation, to support the development of new markets at a pace that will support the industry during the downturn of existing markets. Projects that can deliver immediate positive impacts will be given priority.

Innovation

The DSSS is aimed at investing in projects which create new growth, open up new markets, develop market resilience, or find a different direction.

Projects should aim to innovate ideas or use of technology. It will be an advantage if they can also bring benefits to sustainability and productivity as well as new market development.

Projects should not duplicate services or operations that already exist in the area.

Examples of eligible projects within scope

  • Local community initiatives that develop supply and distribution support, including processing equipment, training courses in food hygiene
  • Expanding existing schemes which connect the existing local seafood supply chain
  • Transport solutions to get local product to urban centres (where suitable transportation capability doesn’t already exist)
  • Online sales platforms that connect existing merchants to local, regional and national consumers
  • Enabling diversification of markets and seafood products consumed in the UK
  • The creation of a new business or expansion of an existing business to process and distribute catch from a group of local vessels to a wider audience
  • Projects where funds are needed primarily to supply assets rather than for salaries, support for which may be provided by other government schemes. See our one stop shop guide for further information.

Exclusions

The DSSS will not fund:

  • Projects where the sole aim is communications or marketing campaigns
  • Consultancy/facilitation services, (beyond 15% of the overall project value)
  • Projects that have already been fully funded or are seeking full funding from other schemes

Because the fishing industry is a sector that has benefitted from other state aid funding, this fund is subject to the temporary state aid framework, which may mean some projects and organisations may not be applicable.

This applies if your undertaking has received other forms of support provided under the temporary state aid framework including the Fisheries Response Fund (FRF), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILs) and Bounce Back Loan scheme, and the total amount of benefits you have received from all schemes has exceeded €120,000 (around £105,000). Note this includes the value of the fees and 12 months interest received from the CBILS and Bounce Back Loans, not the amount of the loan.

See below for further details.

Application Process

DSSS application forms are available to download from 2pm Wednesday 29 April 2020. The scheme closes at noon on Monday 11 May 2020.

Forms may be returned at any time before noon, Monday 11 May.

This is a competitive process, with applications assessed by a panel including industry representatives.

The outcome of the panel considerations will be announced from Friday 15 May, 2020.

Help is available by email: fisheries_response_fund@marinemanagement.org.uk, or by telephone direct to the grants team on 0208 0265539.

Successful Applications

Successful DSSS applicants have now been notified by MMO.

DSSS - List of approved projects

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Approved applications may go ahead with their project. The first 25% of the grant will be paid upfront by MMO, to help kick-start the project.

The remainder will be paid in retrospect, on receipt of claims to the MMO, in accordance with required practice for other government fisheries funds.

Further assistance

Detailed guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/mmo.

The MMO has extended its opening hours to support applicants. It will assist the team to handle queries promptly if you email in the first instance.

Email: fisheries_response_fund@marinemanagement.org.uk Telephone: 0208 0265539 Opening Hours: 9-7 Mon-Fri, 9-1 Sat

All payments received through the fund are made under s.98 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Successful applicants will be informed of the monitoring requirements. The MMO will contact projects to monitor progress at regular intervals and undertake a more detailed assessment further into delivery.

Communications

The DSSS will be supported by a communications campaign undertaken by Defra, MMO and Seafish, as part of their wider activity to inform the sector about financial and welfare support available.

Confirmation of State Aid – Temporary Framework

You are required to provide confirmation of State Aid received under Section 3.1 of the Covid-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities measure and Undertaking in Difficulty Status.

The European Commission has approved schemes to help businesses adversely affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. This approval has been given on the basis of its temporary state aid framework; including the Covid-19 Temporary Framework measure for the UK, which includes among others the Fisheries Response Fund and the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme.

Under Section 3.1 of the Temporary Framework (on the basis of Article 107(3)(b)TFEU) the maximum level of aid that a company may receive is €120,000 (about £105,000) per undertaking active in the fishery and aquaculture sectors, across all UK support measures.

If you have received any aid provided under the Temporary Framework, and wish to apply, or have applied, for any other aid covered by the Temporary Framework, you will need to declare the amount you have received to the grant-awarding body you are applying to.

Aid may be granted to undertakings that were not in difficulty (within the meaning of Article 2(18) of the General Block Exemption Regulation21) on 31 December 2019, but that faced difficulties or entered in difficulty thereafter as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

This aid is in addition to any aid that you may have received under the De Minimis regulations and any other approved aid you have received under other State aid rules, such as aid granted under the General Block Exemption Regulation.

You should complete and sign the declaration in the application form confirming aid you have received under the Temporary Framework between March 20 and December 20 and that your undertaking was not in difficulty (within the meaning of Article 2(18) of the General Block Exemption Regulation) on 31 December 2019.

This declaration should be provided to any grant-awarding body that requests information from you. You should retain the declaration and this letter for four years after the conclusion of the UK’s transition from the EU and produce it on any request from the UK public authorities or the European Commission.

The currency equivalent should be calculated using the European Commission exchange rate applicable on the date the aid was offered.

Quotations

For all goods and services that you intend to apply for as part of your project you must provide quotes to verify the projected costs. The quotes will all be used to show that you are getting the best value for money in your project. You should scan or photograph the quotes and email them to MMO with your application form.

Quotes supplied must include:

  • a detailed and itemised breakdown of costs
  • the supplier’s address, phone number and a contact name
  • the supplier’s VAT number, if they’re VAT registered and they have included VAT on the quote
  • the supplier’s company registration number, if they’re a limited company
  • email quotes must show the email trail from the supplier to the applicant
  • Photocopies or print-outs of catalogue or website listings for products. The photocopies or print-outs must contain the specification of the item. They must contain a price and all should either be inclusive or exclusive of VAT as applicable. The photocopies or print-outs must be from accessible catalogues or websites that can be easily verified.
  • Documents that prove you’ve issued a formal tender, scoring and decision making details.

Quotes that don’t meet the requirements set out will be rejected by MMO. The quotes and tenders you send must:

  • come from suppliers that trade independently of each other and don’t share any ownership
  • be from the last 3 months and be valid
  • be comparable in terms of the quality, size, quantity, and type of product, if you’re using multiple quotes to show you’ll get value for money when buying a product

You should not send quotes or tenders that come from suppliers you’re related to or that your business is linked to.

Applicants must ensure that the companies requested to quote for items or services for their project know that their quote is being submitted as part of an application of funding to the MFF scheme and MMO.

In some cases a declaration completed by the supplier providing quotes must be obtained by you. If your application is selected for this additional check then you must ask your suppliers to complete a declaration to confirm that the quote is accurate and that they understand that you are applying for MFF funding.

All quotes provided must come from independent companies and will be verified by MMO. MMO reserves the right to seek independent advice on the validity and value for money of quotes and tenders supplied. MMO may contact your suppliers directly.

The number of quotes you need to send depends on the value of the product or service as per the tables below:

Individual items with a value (excluding VAT) of: Number of Quotes or Tenders
over £0 and up to £1,500 At least one quote
£1,500.01 and up to £5,000 At least two quotes must be provided. If at least two quotes have not been provided, then an explanation why must be provided
£5,000.01 and up to £60,000 At least three quotes must be provided. If at least three quotes have not been provided, then an explanation why must be provided
equal to or over £60,000.01 You cannot provide photocopies or print-outs for items over £60,000.01, for these items a minimum of 3 quotes or evidence of tender must be provided including; 1) A detailed specification of the works to be undertaken, 2) Evidence of the scoring used to select the company and 3) A suitable rationale for the decision to select the chosen company
Published 29 April 2020
Last updated 12 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. List of successful applications published

  2. Advising DSSS is now closed for new applications.

  3. Update - The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS) closed for applications on Monday 11 May 2020. Applicants will be contacted by email on Friday 22 May 2020.

  4. Following queries about the eligibility criteria for the recently launched DSSS we have updated the guidance to clarify that only those projects that have already been fully funded or are seeking full funding from other schemes are excluded from the scheme.

  5. First published.