MP welcomes £75million boost to UK fishing industry

North Devon Gazette

The MP for North Devon, Selaine Saxby, has welcomed news that fishing communities in North Devon will benefit from better infrastructure, strengthened supply chains, new jobs and an investment in skills thanks to a £75 million boost for the sector.Â

A £65 million infrastructure scheme will be made available for projects such as modernising ports and harbours alongside increasing capacity and efficiency at processing and aquaculture facilities.Â

A competition will be run to identify the best projects, prioritising those that reduce carbon emissions, helping increase the sustainability of the sector and contributing towards the UK’s commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050.Â

Up to £10 million will also be used to encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, alongside training and upskilling current workers. The Government will do this by offering an improved package of training to people joining the industry and making it easier for people from coastal communities to progress through their career.Â

The investment will strengthen the sector’s ability to land more fish in the UK and take them to market faster. This will be achieved by improving the capacity and efficiency of harbours and processing facilities while boosting the long-term sustainability of the fishing industry and supporting jobs, increasing opportunities for coastal communities and levelling up across the country.Â

The two funding schemes are the second and third parts of the £100 million UK Seafood Fund designed to level up coastal communities across the UK.Â

This follows the Science and Innovation pillar, announced in September, which is investing in new technology, trialling new gear and supporting world-class research to improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the industry.Â

Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon said: “This investment is welcome news particularly for Ilfracombe. Over the past year, we have seen uplifts in quota and agreed a quota exchange mechanism. In December, agreements have been reached with both the EU and Norway.Â

“The £100M announced by the Prime Minister will rejuvenate our coastal communities. The money announced today will provide a boost for jobs, particularly here in Ilfracombe, and the wider fishing industry.”Â

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “A year on from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a positive picture is emerging for our fishing industry.Â

“Today, we are announcing a £65 million infrastructure scheme which will allow us to modernise ports and harbours and increase capacity and efficiency at processing facilities. A £10 million fund will encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, and train and upskill those in the industry.Â

“We are committed to levelling up coastal communities across the UK, and this marks a period of rejuvenation for our fishing industry.”

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