The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust (FCFCT) and Seafarers UK, with a group of trusted partners from across the fisheries and seafood sector, have developed the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant ProgrammeInitially, the sum of £250k has been made available to fund, on application, a range of small and medium sized projects that seek to alleviate and respond to some of the current, immediate challenges faced by the seafood sector across the UK.  

The COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Programme aims to fund projects initiated by food charities, fishing and seafood businesses and other community initiatives with a seafood focusThe maximum grant awarded will be £25,000. However, preference will be given to grants below £10,000. 

Type of funding 

Three categories are open for projects or initiatives that should aim to
– deliver diversification opportunities for seafood and fisheries businesses
– promote and/or facilitate consumption or sale of local seafood
– providcommunity meals using seafood

Examples of eligible projects:
– Fish Markets / Harbours, Fishing Associations or Producer Organisations working with a collective of fish merchants to promote, sell and deliver seafood
– Distributors developing technology and communication methods to support the delivery and sale of seafood
– Online education programmes supporting the fishing industry and/or seafood businesses in response to COVID-19
– Cookery schools/restaurants providing and/or delivering seafood meals to key workers and the vulnerable 

Community meals must, where possible, support healthy seafood consumption and should utilise British fish and shellfish where possibleCommunity meal projects may include initiatives which seek to provide meals for:
– key workers, defined as those working in the eight, key areas identified by the government in their educational provision guidance 
– the vulnerable, identified as those not able to access food (i.e. children on school meals, at risk individuals required to self-isolate) 

Desirable project characteristics: 

– Recognising the need for cooperation among fish merchants, fishers and buyers, projects or initiatives that demonstrate collaborative working among stakeholders will be given priority. 
– Where possible, projects and initiatives that provide scalable and enduring solutions will be given priority.
– Projects which leverage existing capacity and expertise, or which re-deploy expertise from currently inactive parts of the seafood industry will be given priority.
– Projects which have attracted or have the potential to attract co-funding from other sources or contribution from businesses will be considered favourably.
– Projects must demonstrate how they will communicate their model, best practice and ‘lessons learnt’ to industry and the media.  


Eligibility criteria 

Projects / Initiatives eligible for consideration must: 
– be of benefit to multiple sectors in the seafood supply chain, or otherwise in the interest of multiple beneficiaries
– not seek to take the place of or replicate other work that is the statutory responsibility of public bodies
– be sound legally
– not represent undue food safety or other health and safety risk to workers or beneficiaries
– fall into one of the three category areas listed above in “Type of Funding” 

Eligible Expenses


Purchasing of delivery vans: funds will only support the purchasing of vans when match-funds have been secured. The Fishing Animateurs can help to support these applications through the UK government grant programme, Maritime and Fisheries Fund (;; Call 01736 362782 to leave a message).

Leasing of delivery vans: funds will support the leasing of refrigerated vans for a period of 3 months, up to the maximum value of £1,800.


Main beneficiary is one business: Maximum £400 pm for 3 months

Community-focused initiatives: Maximum £800 pm for 3 months

In-kind support will be offered where possible.

Website Development and Graphic Design Support  

In-kind support will be offered where possible.


Grants will not normally be awarded to:

– Individuals
– Organisations with political associations or interests which may be viewed as damaging to the Fishmongers’ Company’s reputation


If you wish to make an application under the Covid-19 Community Grant scheme, please read the above guidance carefully, then apply using the online form available on the Fish on Friday website. Any queries on potential projects or the application process should be directed to:  

Application deadline

Applications are encouraged at any time while the fund remains openand will be reviewed every two weeks until the fund closes. Review dates will be posted on the Fish on Friday website.  

Assessment process

– Every application will be subject to a rapid, twostage, review process, involving an assessment by a member of the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Team, followed by review by an independent panel of cross-seafood industry representatives.
– Thprocess should take a maximum of three weeks from the first review date after the application is submitted.
– The Fisheries and Philanthropy Teams reserve the right to request further information, if required. 

What happens if your application is successful?

We will inform you by email and arrange payment by BACS transfer. 

Useful information for all applicants

– Once your application has been received and vetted by the Fisheries Team, we will send you an email acknowledgement, usually within 48 hours
– Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.
– Progress/end-of-project reports must be submitted using the Project Update Form which we will provide to you. Follow-up visits or enquiries will be made by the Fisheries Team to review progress.
– It is expected that support from the FCFCT will be acknowledged in publications/ publicity materials relating to the project. Where appropriate, and with permission, the FCFCT’s logo may be used. 
– Please try to keep your application clear and concise. 



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