Over £600,000 FLAG funding still available in Highland & Moray
West Coast Kelp Beds - Photo courtesy of 58°N Scottish Seaweed
Businesses and organisations are being encouraged to apply for funding through the Highland & Moray Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) as part of the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund. Funding can be used to support a wide range of projects that will boost the local economy and create jobs within the fishing, aquaculture and maritime industries including tourism and seafood sectors.
The Highland & Moray FLAG have already approved 7 applications to date with funding of £338,000 committed toward a range of projects relating to harbour infrastructure improvements and small business grants. Recent project approvals include 58°N Scottish Seaweed Ltd who has been awarded £4,332 to research the viability of growing seaweed for commercial use in the Highlands.
Ailsa McLellan, Owner of 58°N Scottish Seaweed Ltd said: “There is increasing demand for seaweed for a multitude of applications including fertilisers, animal and human foods, and biofuels. Producing farmed seaweed can help to avoid the over exploitation of wild seaweed beds, whilst providing sustainable employment opportunities. This trial aims to show that it is possible, desirable and profitable for rural coastal communities in North West Scotland to farm seaweed. I am very grateful to the EMFF and Highland & Moray FLAG for this funding as without their support the project would not have been able to go ahead. ''
The FLAG also awarded £12,335 to Bells Seafood Ltd to invest in a freezing and blast freezing facility at Scrabster harbour. The facility will help the business gain access to export markets abroad and also reduce factory waste by freezing previously discarded offal to provide bait to the local fishing industry.
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.
The fund is open to sole traders, businesses (targeted at small and medium sized enterprises), community groups, harbour authorities and Fishermen’s Associations 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: “The FLAG have been active for over a year now and have committed just over a third of their £1 million pound budget. The FLAG have approved some fantastic projects so far and it’s important we keep this momentum going so I encourage anyone with a project idea to get in touch to discuss”.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information and a copy of the form can also be found at www.highlandmorayflag.co.uk