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European grants available for fishing communities

North Shields Fish Quay

Fishing communities in North Tyneside are being urged to make the most of European funding available before Brexit.

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.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Our fishing communities are absolutely vital to our local and wider economy and they really need all the support available to them.

“I would urge them to come forward and take advantage of this funding while it is still available. Grants like this can provide a major boost to these communities and we are here to help our fishing communities successfully secure some of this money for vital improvements.” 

Many fishing communities are now receiving the funding but expressions of interest are still being sought in the following funding pots:

  • Marketing, branding and processing
  • Training, retention, recruitment, diversification and Common Fisheries Policy reform
  • Collaborative and applied research between fishermen and scientists

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