Fishing skills

£ 75million increase in seafood industry welcomed as innovation, infrastructure and skills that will benefit


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Seafood leaders in Grimsby have welcomed a government pledge of £ 75million to the industry.

Infrastructure, supply chains, jobs and skills are targeted for funding as Westmister follows through on commitments made during Brexit.

It brings a continuation of the pots of support to fishing communities after leaving the EU, with promises of science and innovation exciting one of the most advanced and concentrated clusters in Europe.

Read more: Sales soar as Young’s Seafood returns to profit in the year before Sofina’s downfall

Martyn Boyers, Managing Director of Grimsby Fish Market, said: “The emphasis on science, with a lot more technology in the industry now, is encouraging as Grimsby is one of the best places to innovate with the biggest and the best factories in Europe here. .

“It should be of interest to a lot of companies on the Humber.



Martyn Boyers, managing director of market operator Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises.

“There are also opportunities for ports to improve their infrastructure, and we are looking at the opportunities we have. All of this is very positive and encouraging, an opportunity for progressive companies that are still doing well. “

Ice weighing, grading and distribution facilities could be under review when details of this week’s announcement emerge, building on the processing and retail operations added to the 25-year-old site in recent years. .

“We have plans that we made,” Mr. Boyers said. “We have always been progressive and have had our fair share of money. Hopefully there is the appetite and ambition to see beyond the current uncertainty. “

While the trawler fleets may not return, the shellfish industry is seeing investment with the emergence of new vessels for the inshore sector.

Simon Dwyer, Secretariat of the Grimsby Fish Merchants’ Association and figurehead of the board of the Seafood Grimsby & Humber cluster, said: and skills. Skills upgrading is a key priority for the cluster and we will be liaising with our partners at the National Center for Food Manufacturing to seek ways to raise funds.

“We will encourage the processing sector to see what opportunities exist for capital investment and expansion, but skills are an important thing. We have launched a £ 433,000 project and hope to use it as a stepping stone to access larger funds.



Dean of the National Center for Food Manufacturing Center there, Val Braybrooks, and Simon Dwyer, a key figure behind the Grimsby seafood cluster.
Dean of the National Center of Food Manufacturing Center, Val Braybrooks, and Simon Dwyer.

Digitization and automation are key axes, alongside traditional skills.

The government said the investment would strengthen the sector’s ability to land more fish in the UK and get it to market faster.

It aims to improve the capacity and efficiency of ports and processing facilities while strengthening the long-term sustainability of the industry.

A £ 65million infrastructure program will be made available for projects such as modernizing ports and harbors as well as increasing the capacity and efficiency of processing and aquaculture facilities. A competition will be held to identify the best projects, prioritizing those that reduce carbon emissions, help increase the sustainability of the sector and contribute to the UK’s commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Up to £ 10million will also be used to encourage new entrants to the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, alongside training and development of current workers.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “One year after the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a positive image is emerging for our fishing industry. We are announcing a £ 65million infrastructure program that will allow us to modernize ports and harbors and increase the capacity and efficiency of processing facilities. A £ 10million fund will encourage new entrants to the processing, harvesting and aquaculture sectors, and train and develop professionals in the industry.

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

Defra said the infrastructure pillar would invest in the transition to renewables, with Grimsby – home to the UK’s largest group of offshore wind farm operating bases – already drawing up plans to be an example in the maritime domain green.



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More sustainable fishing techniques are also being promoted, alongside offshore wind developments, with new tailor-made courses in business management, math and literacy, as well as courses in health, safety and well-being.

An additional £ million will be spent promoting seafood in the UK.

Upgrading Secretary of State Michael Gove said: ‘This multi-million pound investment will have a real and tangible impact on coastal communities across the country and the UK fishing industry. .

“It will support the creation of jobs and training opportunities that will help put the industry on a secure footing for the future. We are working hard to stimulate local communities and provide opportunity to all corners of the country as we level the nation. “

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