Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme

On the 6th Oct 2021 the EU Commission established the BAR (Brexit Adjustment Reserve) to mitigate the impacts of Brexit. Ireland got the largest share of the BAR. The Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme is a funding programme developed using the BAR fund that will be administered by BIM and rolled out using the FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group) mechanism in Ireland. 20% of this funding will be ringfenced to support initiatives to support the inshore fisheries sector.

Murder Hole Beach, Donegal

This funding scheme has been developed in response to the recommendations set out in the Seafood Task Force Report. In the fishing sector 26,412 tonnes of quota will be lost each year in Ireland to the value of 48 million due to Brexit. This scheme has been developed to target entrepreneurial initiatives that drive economic development and seek to reconfigure, restructure, retrain and diversify businesses in the Blue Economy sector post Brexit.

The BAR fund comes to an end on 31st December 2023. This funding scheme relates to article 5 of the BAR. The Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme operates until 30th September 2023 with drawdown expected by 31st December 2023. This will be an open call with applications assessed as they come in on a case by case basis with no deadline for the funding call. The launch date for the scheme is expected to be the week of 6th June 2022 but has yet to be formally confirmed.

Total Budget: €25 million. Each FLAG i.e. FLAG North in the case of Donegal gets 3.5 million There may be a reallocation based on spend performance

General Eligibility:

  • Businesses must be within 10km of coastline
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Be a micro or small enterprise
  • The project must be relevant to the Blue Economy Sector


What is Blue Economy?

  • Small non-commercial harbour/pier activities (note: private piers/harbours only, not DCC owned)
  • Boat building and repair
  • Coastal tourism
  • Marine leisure and sport
  • Seafood
  • Renewable energy


This scheme has three priorities:

Type 1: Capital investment (Micro or Small Enterprises)

Facilities that increase economic activity e.g. ticket offices

Websites and booking platforms. Small scale capital works e.g. a ticket office/reception

Ineligible purchase or lease of warehouse, large buildings, harbour infrastructure, electricity grid or service connections.

Boat Building and Repair

Eligible: Runways for manufacturing, boat building and repair equipment. Ineligible fishing boats, fishing nets, gear or tackle, repair of vessels

Coastal Tourism

Eligible - marine education initiatives, new visitor centre or upgrade, seafood tourism projects, website or booking platform, glamping, non-fishing vessels, refit or retro fit, audio interpretation for coastal cruises, angling vessels, ribs, sport and leisure equipment, accessories or facilities, seaweed leisure, gangways to be stored on a vessel, seafood food trucks, seafood retail facilities, seafood live holding equipment e.g. museum, aquarium, interpretation, exhibits, tasting centre, furniture, building works, dive equipment, kayaks, wetsuits, sups, changing rooms, mobile fish monger, commercial refrigerated van, table, seats, awning.

Renewable Energy

Eligible hybrid electric engines for non-fishing vessels, sola photovoltaic panels, solar thermal collector, wind turbines, heat and power plant, biomass systems, geothermal and ground source heat pumps, lighting retrofit, refrigeration controls upgrades, variable speed drives.

Type 2: Business mentoring and capacity development

Maximum eligible costs €10k and 50% funded for business mentoring and capacity development in the Blue Economy under the following headings:

  • Training courses
  • Software purchase and development
  • Marketing and sales
  • Market research
  • Legal or tax advise
  • Business mentoring


Type 3: Upskilling and training

Any person who lives or works within 10km of the coastline either employed or unemployed, who is looking for training to upskill in the Blue Economy is eligible to apply. The person completing the course makes the application, not the business. Training must facilitate entry to the Blue Economy.

Types of Businesses Eligible: 

  • Micro business – less than 10 employees, less than 2 million turnover
  • Small busines – less than 50 employees, less than 10 million turnover
  • Small scale coastal fisheries

Funding Amounts:

  • Individual/group/business 50% funded Small scale coastal fishery 80%
  • Type 1 capital investment capped at €200,000, Type 2 &3 capped at €30,000


 Communications Plan:

  • A new Communications Strategy to be published soon.
  • An extensive communications campaign will be launched to promote the scheme.
  • Promotional materials and media pack for all board.
  • 2-3 board members will be nominated as media ambassadors and given training.
  • Promotional merchandise to be developed.
  • Working extensively with Fáilte Ireland on marketing campaign.
  • New website, social media and e-mail marketing activities.


More information on the scheme and how to apply available

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