Community groups are now eligible to receive up to 100% sponsorship under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant scheme.
At the December 2017 Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) meeting, members unanimously voted to lift the 50% cap on the amount of funding a project could receive. Projects which are considered innovative by the FLAG, or have a clear community benefit, could now receive up to 100% funding.
This development poses a huge opportunity for coastal communities who previously were unable to develop projects due to a lack of match funding.
The Solway Coast is characterised by small communities, each with their own unique cultural heritage link to the fishing industry. As the fishing industry has declined, the communities have become increasingly dependent upon the tourism trade. However there is a growing concern that if relics of the fishing industry depreciate and disappear then this will have a negative effect on the local tourism industry.
The EMFF provides a source of funding to support communities who wish to strengthen the visibility of seafood, fishing and the traditions of the sea in their community. Funding can be accessed for the renovation of piers, harbours, and other fishing relics. Projects which capture the cultural heritage of the fishing industry through art, story-telling, schools projects, theatre etc will also be eligible for funding. The fund can be utilised to help communities attract recreational use of the facilities previously used by fishermen.
For more information on how to apply for EMFF funding, and the funding deadlines, please contact the regions EMFF project officer:
Phone number: 01387260097