Funding boost for Highland & Moray Fishing Communities

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Photo provided by Ullapool Harbour Trust

Over £220,000 has been awarded to projects in the latest round of funding through the Highland & Moray Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) to boost the marine economy and create employment opportunities in fishing communities.   Ullapool Harbour Trust will receive £53,737 towards a new shellfish storage facility and landing derrick to support the local fishing industry and a further £100,000 to upgrade a nearby launching jetty and laydown area.  Avoch Harbour Trust was awarded £41,913 towards harbour improvements including installation of pontoons to increase berthing space at the harbour.   Also successful were Loch Snizort Shellfish Ltd in their bid for £9,883 towards a new seafood café on the Isle of Skye while North 58 Sea Adventures received £16,208 to expand their marine tourism business to Lossiemouth.

Kevin Peach, Harbour Master, Ullapool Harbour Trust said: “Supporting the local inshore fleet is a large part of the Trusts remit, having a dedicated landing derrick and a live shellfish storage building is something we have aspired to for many years and thankfully with help of FLAG funding we can now realise these aspirations.   Our launching jetty has been in existence for over 100 years and is in urgent need of upgrading, lengthening and widening to make it fit for purpose for today’s marine leisure sector and inshore fishing fleet. The extensive project will require significant investment and without FLAG funding the project would not be taken forward. I would like to thank the FLAG for the help and support throughout the application process and look forward to evaluating the impact of the funding once the works are complete.”

Angus McLeod, Fisherman and owner of Loch Snizort Shellfish Ltd said: “I have been a fisherman for over 30 years and it has always been an ambition of mine to set up my own café to provide high quality fresh seafood direct to customers.  The café will allow me to sell my own catch and support other local fishermen and food suppliers, and will also create several employment opportunities locally once we are up and running.  I’d like to thank the FLAG for supporting me with this project.”

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.  

Funding can be used to support a wide range of projects that will support community rejuvenation, enterprise, innovation, job creation and skills enhancement across the fishing, aquaculture and maritime industries. 

The fund is open to sole traders, businesses (targeted at small and medium sized enterprises), community groups, harbour authorities and third sector organisations 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 supported some fantastic projects so far and this has enabled an investment of over £1.3 million into Highland and Moray fishing communities.  There is still funding available so I would encourage anyone who has a project they think will meet the funding criteria to get in touch to discuss the funding opportunities available through the FLAG”

The FLAG is now inviting Expressions of Interest to be submitted by 2nd April 2018 for projects to be considered at the next FLAG meeting in May.  Further funding rounds will be announced in due course.  

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 sarah.lamb@highland.gov.uk.  Further information and a copy of the form can also be found at www.highlandmorayflag.co.uk

26 Feb 2018
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