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Marine / Mussel farming business nets £75,000 grant

A LOCAL mussel farming company has been successful in attracting EU and Scottish Government funding to help upgrade a workboat.

Scalloway-based Eastvoe Shellfish has secured just over £56,000 in funding from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) plus a further £18,750 from the Scottish Government.

Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsA mussel farm in Shetland. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

The grant funding covers for half the projected cost of upgrading one of the company’s workboats.

The funding allocation was announced on Saturday as part of the latest round of EMFF funding for a number of Scottish shellfish businesses and organisations worth over £800,000.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the seafood sector with the market for some products disappearing almost overnight, leaving many businesses at risk of financial ruin.

“This new funding is being awarded to businesses working in rural areas who have been hit the hardest by this pandemic, helping them to strengthen their business and recover from the loss of markets.

“Aquaculture is an important part of our food and drink success story which we need to preserve.

Chief executive of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers Dr Nick Lake added: “This shows continued confidence by both the shellfish businesses and Scottish Government that once the impacts of the current Covid-19 crisis are overcome the industry has continued scope for development.

“There is optimism that shellfish cultivation businesses as part of the wider Scottish rural economy will continue to deliver quality shellfish which is held in high regard within both the UK and internationally.”