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Funding still available through Highland European Fisheries Fund

5th August 2013

Highland fishing communities still have time to benefit from the European Fisheries Fund Axis 4 programme. Now entering into the latter stages of the programme the Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) would like to highlight there is still financial support available to assist local projects.

The European Fisheries Fund aims to help develop communities where fishing is in decline by supporting measures to build skills and knowledge and increase the capacity of local fishing communities and business networks through innovation, collaboration and diversification.

Those that have been successful in securing EFF funding include Wick Harbour Authority, who were recently awarded funding of 30,098 for the purchase of additional infrastructure to increase the capacity of Wick Marina from 72 to 84 berths. Installed in 2009, the marina was aimed at rejuvenating the inner harbour area which suffered a decrease in activity due to the economic downturn of the fishing industry. As a mark of its success, demand has exceeded availability of berths and the expansion will enable the harbour to further accommodate visitors and residents alike. The funding will also provide for interpretation panels to be situated around the harbour providing information on the areas historic fishing heritage and local biodiversity.

Assynt Leisure Centre, Lochinver was awarded 29,481 for a two year project to provide training, mentoring and support to individuals and businesses in Assynt, an area where employment prospects, particularly for young people can be challenging. The courses aim to encourage new entrants into the marine sector, support the fisheries community to develop new enterprises and support the fisheries community to expand existing businesses.

Councillor George Farlow, Chair of the Highland Fisheries Local Action Group, said: The European Fisheries Fund programme provides an excellent opportunity for groups and businesses to seek financial aid to support a wide range of projects. The programme encourages innovation and diversification of activities and business prospects within local Highland communities. The Highland FLAG is thrilled by the ambitions of the projects approved so far and the benefits these projects will deliver to the communities involved. We would encourage groups and businesses to come forward to find out more about what can be achieved through the programme.

Groups or businesses looking to discuss a project idea or seeking further information, should contact the EFF Regional Development Officer, Sarah Lamb. Sarah has recently been appointed to assist with the delivery of the European Fisheries Fund in the Highlands, and to animate, promote and coordinate wider fisheries development with appropriate partners within coastal areas of the Highlands.

Expressions of interest for potential projects should be submitted by 30 August for consideration under the next funding round. Funding is allocated on a first come first served basis, therefore should funding be available following this date, a further funding round will be announced. The Highland FLAG must have all funding committed by the end of December 2013 although the cash drawdown period will extend into 2015.

For further information and to obtain a copy of the Expressions Of Interest form please visit www.highlandeff.org.uk or contact Sarah Lamb on 07788 387510 or email sarah.lamb[AT]highland.gov.uk

 

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