SMEEF operates grant rounds as and when we have sufficient funds in the pot. Grant rounds have previously focused on project development (getting started, baseline survey and other activation activities) and capital needs (purchase of equipment and improvement to facilities).

As a broad guide we consider ‘marine and coastal’ to include species and habitats where salt water plays a crucial role in the natural life cycle. The species or habitat at the heart of your application must fit this definition.

For-profit projects and organisations are welcome to apply to SMEEF but they should form part of a consortium application with a non-profit or other similar legal structure or community group.

Our grant fund is currently closed for applications. In the meantime you can read about the types of projects funded and case studies in our Impact Report and view previous (and ongoing) projects on our map or on our Projects page. 

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Engagement, Equity and Diversity

We know that early involvement of as wide a range of people as possible in your project has many benefits. By talking to people about your plans, involving them in the design of the project and helping them overcome any barriers to getting involved you are not only creating a pool of potential advocates and volunteers, but you are also helping to ensure that, long after your funding ends, your project continues to be embedded in the community.

SMEEF asks applicants to submit an engagement plan along with their request for funding. This should be proportionate to your project and demonstrate how you have engaged, or plan to engage, with local communities and also communities of interest. We are keen to know how you will identify and attempt to remove barriers which might stand in the way of people with protected characteristics* from getting involved as well as how your project will deliver opportunities to improve well-being.

*Protected Characteristics

  •   age;
  •   disability;
  •   gender reassignment;
  •   marriage and civil partnership;
  •   pregnancy and maternity;
  •   race;
  •   religion or belief;
  •   sex;
  •   sexual orientation.

Other sources of funding

The Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund is not the only source of funding available to restoration projects, for example, you could approach local aquaculture and renewable energy companies in your area for direct funding. Here are some additional ideas for places to look for support. Please check with the organisations concerned for more details.


  • The Sottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund is a competitive fund administered by NatureScot which supports projects that restore wildlife and habitats on land and sea and address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.
  • Monitoring Equipment fund: The Community Marine Monitoring Equipment Fund is a dedicated fund aimed specifically at supporting community and local groups with the purchase of marine survey equipment to participate in community-led marine biodiversity surveys and monitoring.

Crown Estate Scotland

The Community Capacity Grants Programme aims to provide early-stage financial support for local projects that will help achieve the following objectives:

  1. Create self-sustaining community enterprises that will promote sustainable development through the provision of local economic, social, and/or environmental benefits.
  2. Contribute to the regeneration of places through improvements to buildings or community spaces that will support self-sustaining community enterprises delivering sustainable development. 

The fund is open to all communities that are:

  • Situated up to 5 miles from coastal and estuarine foreshore in Scotland; or 
  • Situated up to 5 miles from the Scottish Crown Estate’s four rural estates (Glenlivet, Fochabers, Whitehills and Applegirth)

Foundation Scotland

The Baillie Gifford Community Awards support grass roots community organisations across the whole of Scotland and replaces Foundation Scotland’s Express Grants programme. The fund includes the environment as one of its priority areas for grant giving.


A small grants fund run by volunteers and covering grass roots activities across the UK.

Photos by ©Getty Images (Image 1) and Philip Price/ (Image 2)

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