I’m delighted that new projects to help minimise the impact of lost fishing nets on the environment and innovative research into new trawl designs to reduce the number of other species accidentally caught by fishermen (bycatch) are among those to receive funding from the £100 million UK Seafood Fund have been announced. The Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme – part of the £100m UK Seafood Fund - brings together industry and researchers to deliver pioneering projects that promote the sustainable management of the UK’s fisheries and help equip the fishing industry for the future. So far over £4 million has been made available by the UK Government to fund projects under the scheme. From this week, new funding round for the FISP is opening, with increased awards of up to £1 million for two-year projects and new eligible funding areas, allowing for a wider variety of more ambitious projects to receive support. The UK Seafood Fund will also be extended from 2024 until 31 March 2025 to help longer-term projects succeed by giving them more time to use the investment.
Last week we announced a £37 million funding boost for renewable energy innovation across the UK, securing our energy sovereignty and slashing our dependency on fossil fuels for years to come. The rise in global gas prices and Putin’s war in Ukraine means securing the UK’s energy sovereignty is more pressing than ever – and accelerating home-grown renewables is central to that mission. That is why we have announced £37 million for innovative biomass projects across the UK – including 12 projects off the coast and announced the 22 winners of the first stage of our Hydrogen bioenergy with carbon capture and storage programme, backed with a £5 million. This £37 million government investment will support innovation across the UK, boosting jobs whilst ensuring greater energy security for years to come.
We also announced a fund of up to £635 million to help our public services deal with high gas prices – helping to save taxpayers’ money. There is no time like the present to help public organisations become more efficient and move off expensive gas. That is why we have announced an investment of up to £635 million for public buildings such as schools and hospitals to invest in energy efficiency upgrades. This investment is an important step towards making our public sector more efficient – saving taxpayers’ money, creating tens of thousands of jobs and cutting our link to expensive gas.