The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, a €20m Irish scheme to support the aquaculture sector affected by the effects of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The scheme will be open to aquaculture producers that will purchase and instal new machinery and equipment, as well as construct new premises, with the aim of increasing the production, enhancing the quality of the aquaculture products or substantially increasing energy efficiency. The aid will take the form of direct grants, covering up to 50% of the actual investment costs. The scheme will run until December 31, 2023. 

The scheme is aimed at mitigating the adverse impact on employment in the coastal communities, by supporting the development of an alternative source of raw material supply for seafood processors and by enhancing the viability of aquaculture companies.

The measure is planned to be financed under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, established to mitigate the economic and social impact of Brexit, subject to approval under the specific provisions governing funding from that instrument.