Fisheries Investment Scheme loan

Support provided by Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Business Gateway

What does this involve?

The Fisheries Investment Scheme (FIS) is a council-funded scheme, supported by the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association, which aims to create and retain employment opportunities in the Outer Hebrides by encouraging business development in the fisheries sector.

Loans are available for the purchase of fishing vessels that are less than 24 metres in overall length, equipped to go fishing at sea and up to 30 years old. The loans will cover up to 40% of the cost, up to a maximum of £100,000.

It is expected that the remainder of the purchase will be financed from a commercial loan from the applicant’s own bank and their own funds.

A marine mortgage must be provided as security for any Fisheries Investment Scheme loan and all Comhairle legal costs involved in its registration must be met by the applicant.

Each application will be judged on its own merits. The main factors taken into account in assessing applications will include economic viability, assessed risk and need, employment implications, creation of additional demand for products and services and impact on local competition.

A condition of any loan funding from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is that any product landed must be offered initially to processors based in the Outer Hebrides at the prevailing market price.

Am I eligible?

The FIS loan is potentially available to all fishing businesses in the Outer Hebrides. Applicants may be sole traders, partnerships, limited companies or co-operatives and must have worked for at least 3 years in the fishing sector, 2 of which must have been in the Outer Hebrides.

Loans are available for the purchase of fishing vessels that are:

  • less than 24 metres in overall length
  • equipped to go fishing at sea
  • up to 30 years old

However, priority will be given to applicants who plan to purchase fishing vessels that:

  • are 10 metres in overall length
  • are less than 10 years old
  • have multi-purpose fishing capability

Applicants who have gained a Class II (fishing vessel) ticket or are working towards an Under 16.5m Skipper's Certificate will also be given priority, as will suitably experienced younger applicants who are starting out in fishing vessel ownership.

The full list of conditions can be found on the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website.

What does this cost?

The loans will cover up to 40% of the project cost, up to a maximum of £100,000. It is expected that the remainder of the purchase will be financed from a commercial loan from the applicant’s own bank and their own funds.

The maximum repayment term is 10 years and commercial interest rates apply.

As well as the loan repayments and interest charges, applicants must cover the legal costs of registering the Comhairle's marine mortgage.

Who is this for?

Fishing businesses based in the Outer Hebrides.

How long does this take?

Each application will be dealt with on its own merits. Timescales will vary depending on your project's scale. 

The maximum repayment term for the loan is 10 years.

Important information

Applicants must complete an application form and submit a business plan including projected financial statements for 3 years. New applicants must also submit personal bank statements covering 6 months or, in the case of existing businesses, 6 months of business account bank statements. Existing businesses must submit up-to-date accounts.

Retrospective applications will not be considered for assistance.

Next steps

Visit the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website for more information.

Support provided by Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Business Gateway

Help us improve findbusinesssupport.gov.scot

We appreciate your feedback but we cannot reply to questions submitted here. Use our contact form if you need a reply. Please don't include personal or financial information like your contact details, national insurance number or credit card details.