Three Northumberland-based fishing projects have recently received European Maritime and Fisheries Funding (EMFF) that will be used to provide new or protect existing facilities in which local fishermen store their catch.
Gary Little, skipper and owner of the fishing vessel Sweet Promise, fishing from Beadnell Harbour, received £4,600 funding for an external building, housing a walk-in refrigerator. The addition of refrigeration to his business will allow his catch and pot bait to be stored in prime condition, which will be extremely beneficial during the summer months.
Karl Wilson, owner of the fishing vessel Amadeus fishing from Warkworth Harbour, Amble has also received £2,700 funding for a walk-in refrigerator. Amadeus skipper Garry Stewart said: “The funding has been an enormous help to us. We’ve recently had the walk-in refrigerator installed, and it is already providing a great boost to the business by saving us both time and money. Ultimately, it will result in the catch being presented to the market in perfect condition.”
Mr John Dixon, chairman of the Beadnell Harbour Fishermen’s Society, has received £8,600 funding on behalf of the society to install rock armour to protect the remaining fishermen’s storage units at Beadnell Harbour. This will allow Beadnell’s fishermen to use the storage units long into the future, safeguarding the units and providing an element of security for future fishermen.
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. A number of funding bids are currently being developed, but there is still EMFF support available.
Eligible projects can obtain between 50-80% grant funding of the total project cost, however, the money must be applied for by March 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.
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. I’d urge those in the industry to make the most of the funding while it is available to them.”
The FLAG is responsible for delivering the scheme from Berwick to North Shields covering 14 coastal settlements: Berwick, Holy Island, Seahouses, Beadnell, Low Newton by the Sea, Craster, 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.
For further details, or an informal chat regarding available funding, contact the programme officer, Simon Baxter, mobile: 07825 121778, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: bit.ly/2Ag3zJk