File photo of Mairi Gougeon, left, with Kames Fish Farming's communications officer Cate Cannon during a visit to the Scottish steelhead trout producer's Kilmelford. The minister today announced that £14 million will be made available from the Scottish Government's Marine Fund Scotland for marine-linked projects in the coming year.

Applications open for £14m Marine Fund Scotland


The Scottish Government has made £14 million available for grants from the Marine Fund Scotland in 2024-25, with applications opening later today.

The Fund, now in its fourth year, was established to replace European Union funding that was ended by Brexit. Funding is available to a wide range of eligible individuals, businesses, organisations, and communities to deliver projects that contribute to an innovative and sustainable marine economy, support coastal communities, and contribute to Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

Beneficiaries of the 2023-24 funding round included aquaculture supplier Vonin Scotland Ltd which was granted more than £955,000 towards the £3.2 million cost of establishing a net washing and servicing station on part of the site of salmon farmer Mowi Scotland’s feed plant at Kyleakin, Skye.

Other aquaculture businesses, including Mowi Scotland, also benefited from grants from the fund. In total, 91 projects were awarded funding in 2023-24, with grants ranging from under £1,000 up to £1.6m.

Blue economy

Addressing the Fisheries Management Scotland conference today, the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said money will again be made available through the Fund in 2024-25 to help deliver Scotland’s Blue Economy Vision, which sets out plans to transform the way the marine environment is used and how Scotland’s ‘blue’ resources are managed.

“The Marine Fund Scotland supports a wide range of exciting and innovative projects delivering on our Blue Economy Vision,” said Gougeon, whose portfolio includes aquaculture.

“Congratulations to those organisations and individuals who have already made successful applications – it’s fantastic to see that Scottish Government funding is playing an important role in helping our marine industries to evolve and flourish. I am looking forward to seeing the types of projects that apply for funding in this fourth year of the Fund.

'Short-changed by UK'

“However, while the Fund is critical in delivering on one of our three core Government missions – opportunity: building a fair, green, and growing economy – we no longer have sufficient funding to support longer term investment.

“Marine funding in Scotland continues to be short-changed by the UK Government so, as well as ensuring the full allocation for the Marine Fund Scotland is maintained in future years, we will keep pressing the UK Government to uphold their commitment to replace lost EU funding in full, so that we can continue supporting innovative projects in our marine sectors and coastal communities in the future.”

The Marine Fund Scotland 2024-25 guidance notes will be published at 3pm.