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Latest Highland & Moray Fisheries Local Action Group funding approvals

21st September 2017

Two Highland businesses have successfully secured funding through the Highland & Moray Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) to boost business and create jobs in their local area. Ullapool based Ockran Oysters Ltd will receive £12,500 to invest in new grading equipment that will allow them to double their oyster production during busy periods while Isle of Ewe Boatyard will invest a similar amount in a new boat cradle and winch to allow the business to cater for larger vessels.

Joe Hayes, Owner of Ockran Oysters Ltd said: "We are delighted to have received funding from the FLAG to purchase a new batch grader. The limiting factor for our business at the moment is the time it takes to grade the oysters by hand. This new equipment will allow us to be more efficient and move forward with the gradual expansion of the business as well as making the working environment a more pleasant one. The grader will also enable us to supply a consistently sized oyster to our customers."

Alasdair Grant, Owner of Isle of Ewe Boatyard added: "I carry out a variety of work at the boatyard, from repairs to refurbishments to new builds. Unfortunately my current set up is doesn't allow me to haul boats over 7 metres out of the water to work on at the yard. However with the investment support from the FLAG to purchase a new cradle and winch I will now be able to haul boats up to 12 metres, this will open up my services to a whole new range of customers"

The funding has been awarded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to encourage community-led local development and enable localised decision making though Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs).

The Highland & Moray FLAG membership is representative of local community and industry interests who will consider applications and decide how funding should be allocated locally.

Funding can be used to support a wide range of projects that will support community rejuvenation, enterprise, innovation, job creation and skills enhancement across the fishing, aquaculture and maritime industries.

The fund is open to sole traders, businesses (targeted at small and medium sized enterprises), community groups, and third sector organisations located within Highland and Moray coastal communities.

To support the work of the FLAG a Development Officer is in place to help those wishing to apply to the fund. Sarah Lamb, Highland & Moray FLAG Development Officer: "It's really important that the industry and local communities are aware of the opportunities available to them through the FLAG. Those wishing to apply will have support they need to submit an application, this is particularly helpful for people who have never applied for funding before, and so I encourage anyone who has a project or business idea to get in touch."

The FLAG is now inviting Expressions of Interest to be submitted by 15th December 2017 for projects to be considered at the next FLAG meeting in January. Further funding rounds will be announced in due course.

For further guidance and to obtain a copy of the Expression of Interest form please contact the EMFF Development Officer Sarah Lamb on 01955 609560 or email sarah.lamb@highland.gov.uk. Further information and a copy of the form can also be found at www.highlandmorayflag.co.uk

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