128 companies have now received support through the Scottish Government’s Seafood Resilience Fund.
In a press release, the Scottish Government writes that the scheme, which was launched in April, has paid out grants of GBP 5.6 million to assist seafood processors impacted by the collapse of international markets and the shutdown of the UK’s food service industry due to COVID-19.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said that the “impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the market for seafood was immediate and severe.”
“In response we have put in place a range of support, including the Seafood Resilience Fund, which was set up to protect the processing companies that form such a crucial part of our coastal economies.
“I am pleased that we have been able to support 128 companies through the scheme, and I know that – although times continue to be difficult – these funds have made a difference.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work with our seafood sector to provide targeted support and guidance as we begin to carefully move towards the safe restart of the economy. As we begin to consider how to recover from the impact of the pandemic, it will be important to explore how to build greater resilience and more local opportunities for people in Scotland and the UK to enjoy our fantastic seafood.”
Stephen Thomson of JK Thomson has a seafood processor based in Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland which he said is one of the “largest and most modern seafood processing plants in the country”. The company, which does hot and cold smoked salmon as well as other species, received a GBP 100,000 grant through the scheme.