Scottish fishing firms have been promised a ‘bright future’ after the UK Government announced a £75m funding boost to modernise the fishing industry and level up coastal communities.
The funding, which will be used to modernise UK ports and processing facilities, has been welcomed by industry bodies who have faced challenges in the sector following Brexit.
Announcing the funding, the UK Government said it would go towards better infrastructure, strengthened supply chains, new jobs, and an investment in skills.
The move will see £65m go to modernising ports and harbours, while £10m will encourage new entrants into the sector, and train and upskill those already working in it.
While the Scottish Government welcomed the investment, it criticised the UK Government for spending in an area devolved to Scottish ministers.
Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “It is for Scottish ministers, accountable to Scottish Parliament, to make decisions about how marine and fisheries funding is spent in line with our priorities.”
UK Government minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord, said the money represented a “massive boost for the industry”.
Offord said the Government was engaging with Scotland’s fish and seafood sector, noting: “We are listening to concerns and we are acting upon them for the benefit of business owners, workers and Scotland’s wider coastal communities.”
UK Government environment secretary, George Eustice, said: “We are committed to levelling up coastal communities across the UK, and this marks a period of rejuvenation for our fishing industry.”
The funding announcement comes as tensions continue to rise between the UK and France, with the countries continuing to discuss fishing rights following Brexit.