European grants available for fishing communities

20 Nov 2017

Fishing communities stretching from Berwick upon Tweed down to North Shields are being urged to make the most of European funding available to them before we exit the European Union.

The money is available through  the European Maritime and Fisheries Funding (EMFF) with  £600,000 available to spend locally.  Eligible projects can obtain between 50-80 per cent grant funding of the total project cost however the money must be applied for by April 2019.

The funding can be used to support a wide range of projects including: the development of small scale infrastructure at ports and harbours; adding value to fisheries products,  for example,  through marketing, branding and processing;  the  retention and creation of  jobs;   aquaculture and marine based industries; promoting cooperation and innovation and enhancing and conserving the marine environment.

The North of Tyne Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) is responsible for delivering the scheme across the north east,  including considering applications and deciding how funding should be allocated locally.

The North of Tyne FLAG area extends from Berwick upon Tweed down to  North Shields and takes in 14 coastal settlements: Berwick, Holy Island, Seahouses, Beadnell, Low Newton by the Sea, Crater, Boulmer, Amble, Lynemouth, Newbiggin, Blyth, Seaton Sluice, Cullercoats and North Shields.  The area has a fishing fleet of 119 vessels employing over 150 people directly in the industry.

Northumberland County Council employs FLAG staff and is  responsible for ensuring that the programme rules and regulations are implemented correctly.

Northumberland County Councillor Nick Oliver, cabinet member with responsibility for corporate services said:   “ This is a great opportunity for groups in our coastal communities to apply for funding for projects based around maritime industries. Fishing and its associated industries have  been hugely important to the North East and this fund will help to support these businesses to grow and diversify.”

The North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners near  Seahouses had the first project  approved in England and have recently been awarded almost £40,000 of  EMFF for the manufacture and installation of three new quayside landing davits for the South Pier.

Captain Brabban from the harbour commissioners said:  “This project will alleviate congestion in the harbour whilst landing catch; reduce the manual labour  involved and  enable the catch to be landed quickly. Ultimately it  will result in the catch being presented to the market in perfect condition.”
 
For further information and advice please contact Simon Baxter, North of Tyne FLAG Programme Officer on 07825 121778 or email simon.baxter@northumberland.gov.uk