FUNDING of £300,000 for a start-up seafood business will create 20 new jobs in Milford Haven.

Milford Haven Seafood Limited’s two-year project will see a new facility set up to process crab, lobster and whelks.

The business will support local fisherman by purchasing their catch to process mainly for the export markets in the UK, Europe and Far East.

The cash injection, courtesy of the Big Lottery Fund's Coastal Communities Fund, will fund 20 full-time jobs, and contribute towards purchasing shellfish and marketing.

The money, delivered on behalf of the Welsh Government, will also help safeguard 46 jobs throughout the life of the project.

The remaining £72,000 will cover the purchasing of the cooking ovens, packing machinery and grading machines.

The total project cost is £850,000 with the remaining match funding of £550,000 secured from HSBC Bank, Private Equity Investors and Welsh Government.

The project is one of four across Pembrokeshire that will benefit from almost £1.2million in extra funding.

Leask Marine Ltd has been awarded £299,872 to establish a base in Pembroke Dock to support the growing marine renewables and aquaculture markets.

The scheme will create one direct and 2.5 indirect jobs, and support six businesses.

The two-year grant will contribute to salary costs, a Falcon remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and plastic welding equipment.

Elsewhere in Pembrokeshire, Saundersfoot Harbour will receive £300,000 to develop a Canoe Rapids Centre, that will be suitable for recreational use as well as a training area for emergency services.

Together with a Coastal Schooner Experience - a purpose built exhibition, events and outdoor cinema space - the project is predicted to create more than 12 jobs, and increase visitor numbers by more than 9,000 a year.

Robust Boats, based in St Davids, will use their £300,000 to buy land to construct a larger workshop, enabling them to increase boat-building capacity and the number of people employed from three to six.

The company also own a second business selling boating related equipment, which will be relocated to the new premise, enabling growth and another additional member of staff.

The remainder of the £600,750 project will be from private finance.

Introduced in 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund supports economic development in coastal areas.

Sian Callaghan, chairman of the funding decisions committee, said: “We were really impressed with the ideas coming forward from Wales’ coastal communities, they have embraced this opportunity and come up with some great ideas which will not only create new jobs but also some wonderful new visitor attractions and products.”

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Housing and Regeneration welcomed the grants: "These grants offer the opportunity to help create jobs, support local businesses and attract tourists to come and experience our fantastic coastline.

"I am looking forward to seeing these exciting projects developing and contributing to the regeneration of our coastal communities.”