The funding can support eligible individuals, businesses, organisations and communities to deliver projects which contribute to an innovative and sustainable marine economy, reducing carbon emissions and supporting coastal communities. The guidance notes will set out the specific eligibility and assessment criteria that projects have to meet to be considered for funding. The Marine Fund Scotland is a relatively small fund and where possible we will seek to use it strategically to deliver wider benefits. Applications for projects that demonstrate wider collective benefit (e.g. positive outcomes for communities) beyond, or at least in addition to, benefits for an individual organisation, business or person, will be scored more highly. More detail about the approach to scoring applications is set out in the ‘How will applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 be assessed?’ section of these General Guidance notes. We encourage applications for funding support for investments that have clear added value, in particular by addressing market failures or sub-optimal investment situations.
The Marine Fund Scotland for 2022-23 is focused on supporting projects that deliver outcomes relating to Scotland’s Blue Economy Vision, which was published on 31 March 2022. Scotland’s Blue Economy Vision is that, by 2045, Scotland’s shared stewardship of our marine environment supports ecosystem health, improved livelihoods, economic prosperity, social inclusion and wellbeing. The Blue Economy Vision document also states that Scotland’s marine space and marine sectors are national assets that play an important part in meeting our ambitions as a society. These include our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by the year 2045, and our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and EU Exit. More definitions and background here
The specific purposes for which Scottish Ministers may offer grant funding through the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 are:
a) the conservation, enhancement or restoration of the marine and aquatic environment; including the conservation, enhancement or restoration of the natural beauty or amenity of marine or coastal areas, or of inland waters or waterside areas;
b) the promotion or development of commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
c) the reorganisation of businesses involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
d) contributing to the expenses of persons involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
e) maintaining or improving the health and safety of individuals who are involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
f) the training of individuals who are, were or intend to become involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities, or are family members of such individuals;
g) the economic development or social improvement of areas in which commercial fish or aquaculture activities are carried out;
h) the promotion or development of recreational fishing.