Funding & Advice

As a relatively new sector, aquaculture has to date been regarded as a relatively high-risk activity which has in the past hampered its ability to access finance or to raise capital. This position is slowly changing and there are now managed investment funds that are starting to target aquaculture as a potentially profitable sector in which to invest. The wider marine eco-system services provided by aquaculture are becoming more widely recognised and these can provide an added investment incentive to ethically minded investors.

There is still however a role for Government to play in supporting the aquaculture sector and on a local level, organisations such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have a key role to play in helping to open up the pathway to both local and regional funding as well as helping to attract Foreign Direct Investment using tools such as the High Potential Opportunity (HPO) for aquaculture in Dorset.

Previously, the various EU fisheries funds have been a source of funding for the aquaculture sector. Following Brexit there do however appear to be plans by Government to continue to help fund and support the development of this sector.

Funding & Advice

Dorset LEP Dorset LEP Logo

Dorset LEP offers tailored soft landing packages for new investors including relocation support, commercial property searches (introduction to land and real estate agents), local economic intelligence provision and introductions to local sector networking groups:

Dorset Chamber Dorset Chamber Logo

A wide range of funding and finance options for your investment are available

The Department for International Trade Invest in Great Logo

The Department for International Trade and local partners are there to support you in navigating the opportunities across the UK – to find the right fit for your business. Based on their experience of investors, the attractive HPO opportunity demonstrates the strength and depth of capability available locally and in central Government to support you and maximise your investment in the UK.

For investors interested in considering high value options further – DIT provide a bespoke service tailored to your needs from investment inception, right through to aftercare support. DIT pride themselves in developing long-term relationships with their clients, predicated on a full understanding of their needs.

Contact DIT’s Investment Services Team
T: +44(0) 207 000 9012For more information on how to set up a business in the UK, please visit the website

Dorset Growth Hub

Dorset Growth Hub Logo

Dorset’s premier business support agency, providing local support for Dorset businesses since 2014.  The mission of the Dorset Growth Hub is to support businesses that want to grow, increase employment, improve the competitiveness of Dorset businesses and encourage inward investment to the county.

They are funded from a variety of sources including local and national government, and the EU. Dorset Growth Hub work with a huge variety of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), from tiny one-person start-ups to firms employing up to 250 people.

Their specialists provide guidance and information on all aspects of business, including taking your first steps in the commercial world, how to find the right finance, and making best use of today’s digital marketing tools.

The Dorset Growth Hub team operate across the county, delivering workshops and training sessions in a variety of venues, visiting business premises for one-to-one meetings, and facilitating ongoing mentoring programmes (Source: Dorset Growth Hub website).

Consultancy Advice

There are a number of commercial consultancy organisations that can provide support to both new entrants and existing aquaculture businesses. In addition, there are local sources of advice available from organisations such as the Dorset Coastal Partnership (DCF) and Cefas.

Dorset Coast ForumDorset Coast Forum Logo

The Dorset Coast Forum is a strategic coastal partnership, which looks at the long term issues facing the Dorset coast and its inshore waters. The forum enables investors to discuss issues, gain access to the latest data and information, access support for the design and delivery of innovative projects, and network with key industry stakeholders.

CefasCefas Logo

Cefas’ exceptional breadth of science and technology capability means they can offer investors a comprehensive range of services including research, advice and consultancy; laboratory services and analysis; modelling; surveys; and technology services.

Southern Shellfish Training Centre

The Southern Shellfish Training Centre (SSTC), an SFIA Approved Training Provider, delivers the Bivalve Shellfish Purification Operations Training Course both to Industry and to Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The course itself is a one-day (5+hrs) training programme in the biology and technology that underpins bivalve handling and purification in the UK.

This course is suitable for all members of staff working in bivalve purification/depuration and despatch centres and for new industry entrants.  Participation in this training doesn’t require any prior knowledge or experience.  This course is also open to other industry and food professionals who wish to undertake training on the theory and practise of bivalve purification.

Upon successful completion this course leads to a nationally recognised qualification through a joint award from Seafish and the Royal Environmental Health Institute for Scotland (REHIS). This course has been developed in order to provide industry with access to accredited training for all staff involved in the purification and despatch of bivalve molluscs and meets EC Regulation 852/2004 requirements in this respect.

Seafish and the SSTC continually review and update the purification training programme for EHOs and Industry. In this way, the courses offered help to ensure that EHOs and Industry are aware of any new legislative or regulatory changes whilst at the same time providing guidance to Industry in how production practises can be optimised to increase profitability whilst maintaining food safety standards.  Recent changes, such as the potential for Industry to reduce purification times with Local Authority approval and the increased responsibilities of EHOs in the purification system approval, mean that training in shellfish purification continues to be vital to both Industry and EHOs alike.

For further information about training courses in bivalve shellfish purification please contact Martin Syvret on

Martin Syvret
Southern Shellfish Training Centre –
an SFIA Approved Training Provider

Carthouse, Whitnage, Tiverton EX16 7DU, Devon

Tel: +44 (0) 7966 461810
Skype: mlqs01

Current Sources of Funding



The funding landscape changes rapidly. For the most up to date information please contact:

Martin Sutcliffe
Dorset Aquaculture & Fisheries Development Officer


Tel.  01305 224766

Mob. 07887 627382

Last updated: 12 August 2021