East Lothian Council

New funding for coastal projects

Published Wednesday 1st March 17

Coast

New Forth FLAG, £1m of EU grant funding for projects in coastal areas of Scottish Borders, East Lothian and Fife.

Three separate Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) have joined together for a new funding period. The groups in East Lothian, Fife and the Scottish Borders recognised strong links between the fishing communities around the Forth, and many common issues. Coming together as one FLAG will ensure a more significant presence and a stronger voice for the maritime sector.

The larger FLAG has a bigger budget, and greater resources available for project support. The Forth FLAG is comprised of 20 members of voluntary stakeholders representing a cross section of the local community and fishing industry interests from each area.

Chair of the Forth FLAG Grahame Sinclair said “I am delighted to Chair the Forth FLAG and keen to support our local coastal communities in re-energising their communities and in collaborative projects along the Forth coastline.”

The funding is awarded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) programme 2014 -2020. The programme is designed to encourage community-led local development and localised decision making through FLAGs.

The FLAGs consider applications and decide how funding should be allocated locally. Funding can be used to support a wide range of projects that will deliver on local priorities including adding value to fisheries products, creating job opportunities and stimulating economic growth in fishing, aquaculture and marine based industries, promoting co-operation and innovation as well as enhancing environmental assets.

The FLAG is now inviting businesses and local groups to submit an “Expression of Interest” for projects to be considered at the next FLAG meeting in May. The Forth FLAG is supported by three local authority areas.

Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development, 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 has long been hugely important to East Lothian and this fund will help see that continue and support businesses in diversification.”

For further guidance and to obtain a copy of the Expression of Interest form please contact the EMFF Programme Coordinator, Rosalind McArthur on 01835 825117 or email rosalind.mcarthur@scotborders.gov.uk

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