Funding boost for North-East fishing industry

Aboard the NIFCA patrol vessel St Aidan.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Aboard the NIFCA patrol vessel St Aidan. Picture by Jane Coltman

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European funding is set to help protect and develop employment in the North-East fishing industry.

The North of Tyne Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), led by Northumberland County Council, has been awarded £800,000 from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund which will support development across 14 fishing communities between Berwick and North Shields.

The funding, distributed by the Marine Management Organisation, will fund projects which support the fishing and aquaculture sectors, including harbours, ports, fishermen, wholesalers, processing and research.

The Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) supported the group to develop its funding bid.

Coun Robert Arckless, county councillor and chairman of NIFCA, said: “Our fishing industry is one of the North East’s greatest assets and it’s important that we do everything we can to safeguard it for present and future generations.”

The funding will be used to support projects between March 2017 and September 2019.

The North of Tyne FLAG is made up of partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors who have an interest and knowledge of the fishing and aquaculture sector.

FLAG members work together to select and support projects that deliver the Fisheries Local Development Strategy. A programme officer will be recruited in the next few months to support the group and to help applicants to apply for funding.

To find out more about becoming a FLAG member, contact Sarah Kidd on sarah.kidd@northumberland.gov.uk by Friday, December 2.