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RPW continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and impacts closely. We will carry on assessing the health and safety protocols for staff and beneficiaries in carrying out our statutory duties. These protocols are in line with latest Government and Public Health Wales guidelines. 

European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The UK Operational Programme sets out how Member States intend to spend their EMFF budget. It is subject to approval by the European Commission (EC) and the UK Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC). Further details can be found on our European Maritime and Fisheries Fund: operational programme page.

The EMFF in Wales is a £17 million programme, co-financed by Welsh Government and is administered by Rural Payments Wales (RPW).

The official EMFF programme period ended on 31 December 2020. However, the programme continues to operate. It will draw down EC funding for an additional three years as agreed under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions and project de-commitments, an EMFF budget of £1m has become available to support new projects.

EC funding is only available until 2023. As a result, the remaining budget will primarily focus on:

  • providing support to help the industry mitigate the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic, and
  • adapting to the rapidly changing market conditions for seafood products.

The remaining EMFF budget will therefore support investments in:

  • the small scale coastal fleet and aquaculture
  • improvements to the marketing and processing of fishery and aquaculture products.

Any project selected and supported during this remaining period will have to be completed within 12 months. Starting from July this year.

New application window

A new EMFF application window will open for a 10 week period:

From: 17 January 2022       

To:  25 March 2022

If you are interested in applying, please read the scheme guidance. Provide an initial outline of your project proposals on the Project Outline Form provided to the EMFF mailbox as soon as possible.

Full application forms will only be issued to project proposals which are deemed to meet the eligibility criteria of the EMFF programme.

Submitted applications will only be considered once the application window has closed.

Applications will not be accepted after the closing date of 25 March 2022.

Scheme guidance

Full scheme guidance is available on the Welsh Government website, and can be found in the links provided below:

UP1 - Art 42 Added Value, Product Quality and use of Unwanted Catches - fishers only

Activities will improve the added value or quality of the fish caught to address the threat of market price declines through, for example, investment in on board fish storage.  Eligible activities are:

  • investments that add value to fishery products. In particular by allowing fishermen to carry out the processing, marketing and direct sale of their own catches
  • innovative investments on board that improve the quality of the fishery products.

Full details can be found on our guidance pages

If you are interested in applying for funding under this Article, please complete a Project Outline Form and return to the EMFF mailbox.


UP2 - Article 48 a-d, f-h. Productive investments in Aquaculture

Activities will support the expansion of the aquaculture industry through improvements in:

  • modernisation
  • working and safety conditions
  • resource efficiency, and
  • health and quality of stocks.

Funding will also support greater profitability in the sector through improvements in:

  • predator control,
  • the potential of new specifies being cultured
  • opening up of new aquaculture locations, and
  • diversification in income through complementary activities.

Eligible activities are:

  • productive investments in aquaculture
  • the diversification of aquaculture production and species cultured
  • the modernisation of aquaculture units, including the improvement in working and safety conditions of aquaculture workers
  • improvements and modernisation related to animal health and welfare. These include the purchase of equipment aiming at protecting the farms from wild predators
  • investments in enhancing the quality of, or in adding value to, aquaculture products
  • the diversification of the income of aquaculture enterprises through the development of complementary activities.

Support for complementary diversification of income will only be granted to aquaculture enterprises if the complementary activities relate to the core aquaculture business of the enterprise, including angling tourism, environmental services related to aquaculture or educational activities concerning aquaculture.

Full details can be found on our Support for aquaculture pages.

If you are interested in applying for funding under this article, please complete a Project Outline Form and return to the EMFF mailbox.

UP5 - Article 68 Marketing and Article 69 Processing (SME only)

Marketing activities may support all businesses to improve marketing expertise. This is focused on market research to identify opportunities for new products and enhancement of product presentation and packaging. Promotional activities will support awareness of local wild seafood and quality labels. This includes the direct marketing of small scale coastal fisheries or local aquaculture products.

Processing activities are restricted to SME only. They may support increased efficiency, technical innovations and utilisation of catch.

The majority of funding will be dedicated to projects that reduce energy consumption and for technical innovation in environmental footprint reduction. This will benefit the efficiency of the business and its environmental impact.

Funding may also be provided for projects that support improved approaches, products and systems. These will enhance the reputation and competitiveness of the industry.

Technical innovations in processing technology would also meet the need for creating opportunities to utilise unwanted catches (by-catch and unfamiliar species) that will be landed under the landing obligation, so they can be placed on the appropriate market.

Projects under Article 69 may also support improvements to products, processes and management in processing. This will support the UK’s strategy to create better conditions for growth in the industry.

Full details can be found on our Support for marketing and processing pages.

If you are interested in applying for funding under this Article, please complete a Project Outline Form and return to the EMFF mailbox.

Result indicators

The EMFF Operational Programme sets the output and result indicators. Projects will be expected to report against these.

The Output Indicator records the number of projects to which a grant has been awarded.

The Result Indicators are designed to capture the benefits or effects which result from each project supported. The EMFF Operational Programme identifies a range of Result Indicators. These may be applicable to projects under each of the separate Measures highlighted above.

Please refer to the ‘Indicators and Reporting section and ‘Evidencing Results Indicators’ section. This provides detail on the information to be provided to measure achievement against each selected Result Indicator.

All beneficiaries in receipt of EMFF grant funding must provide evidence in support of the ‘results indicator’ targets which apply to their project.

Project Outline Form

If you are interested in applying for funding any of the above Articles, please complete a Project Outline Form.

Your Project Outline Form should be submitted via e-mail to:

Basic eligibility checks will be completed on your project proposal before you are provided with a full application form for completion and return by 25 March.

For any additional help and support, you should contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre on 03000 062 5004.

EMFF budget

The remaining budget is allocated under the following union priorities and articles as follows:

EMFF Budget table
Union Priority Article Description Budget allocated
1 42 Added Value Product Quality and use of Unwanted Catches – fishers only [Promoting sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based fisheries] £250,000
2 48 Productive Investments in Aquaculture – aquaculture investments only £250,000
5 68 & 69 Marketing and Processing (SME only) [Fostering marketing and processing] £500,000


Project appraisal and selection

When budgets are limited, a number of factors must be considered when deciding how to allocate grant support. These include:

  • offering an equal opportunity for applicants to apply
  • having an open and transparent process for considering proposals
  • managing expectations about the likelihood of success

It is expected that there will be significant demand for the grant available. Applications will be considered in direct competition with one another.

Applications will be appraised against the scheme criteria. Also in line with the agreed eligibility and selection criteria for the EMFF programme

The appraisal will be made on the information provided. If that is not clear no requests will be made for clarification or additional explanations.

Applications will scored and ranked in order of merit according to the selection criteria.

Applications will be selected in ranked order until either the funds available have been allocated or the maximum number of applications has been reached. There is no guarantee all of the funds will be allocated or that the maximum number of projects will be selected.

Each application will be considered only on the basis of the details contained on the Application Form. They will be measured against the criteria set out in the scheme guidance you are applying for.

We will not be issuing any proceed at risk notifications under this round of funding. This is due to the limited window for project submission and appraisal.

Customer contact centre (updated 17 January 2022)

Staff at our bilingual Customer Contact Centre are available on 03000 062 5004 to provide further help and support.

The Customer Contact Centre is operating as follows:

Period Opening hours
Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm

Where possible, routine project enquiries should be submitted via the secure RPW online account. This is available 24 hours a day.

If you are unable to access your RPW online account please contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre immediately.

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