Funding available for Highland Fishing Communities

The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has recently been successful in securing further funding to support fishing communities in Highland under Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund.  Funding of £198,642 is available to help communities where fishing requires supporting measures to build skills and knowledge and increase the capacity of local fishing communities and business networks through innovation, collaboration and diversification. 

The Highland FLAG has approved 11 applications to date, with funding of £433,294.64 committed toward a range of projects relating to skills development, tourism, diversifying activities, infrastructure improvements and the promotion of the culture and heritage aspects of fisheries communities. 

Three projects were approved under the latest funding round including Mackay Underwater Technology Ltd, based in Wick, who were awarded funding of £1,100 to purchase and put into use an air compressor as a provision for both leisure and fishing industry scuba divers as part of a promotion of Caithness as a leisure diving location.  As part of the project, Mackay Underwater Technology intends to register with the British Sub-Aqua Club as a dive “Resort Centre” which will establish the centre on a national and international scale.

Lybster Heritage Trust was awarded £6,534 for the preservation and display of a replica of the fishing yawl ‘The Spirit of Lybster’ which operated from Lybster in the 19th Century when Lybster Harbour was one of Scotland’s main herring fishing harbours.

Gairloch and District Heritage Company will also benefit under the latest funding round, with funding of £1,354 approved to digitise Gairloch’s Heritage Museum’s collection of fishing related objects and archival material and record oral history interviews relating to the fishing industry in Gairloch.

Details of all approved projects to date and information on the Highland EFF programme are
available at:

Councillor George Farlow, Chair of the Highland Fisheries Local Action Group, said: “The Highland FLAG is thrilled by the ambitions of the projects approved so far and the benefits these projects will deliver to the communities involved.  As funding is allocated on a first come first served basis, we would encourage groups and businesses to contact the EFF Team as soon as possible to ensure they do not miss out on the opportunity of funding for an eligible project.”

Expressions of interest for potential projects should be submitted by close of play Friday 7th February for consideration under the next funding round.  A further funding round will be announced should funding remain after this round.  The Highland FLAG must have all funding committed by the end of June 2014 although the cash drawdown period will extend into 2015. 

For further information and to obtain a copy of the Expressions Of Interest form please visit or contact the EFF Regional Development Officer, Sarah Lamb on 07788 387510 or email

20 Jan 2014
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