EFF awards approved for the English fishing industry
MORE than £1.9 million European funding has been approved for the English fishing industry during March 2011, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Fishnewseu.Com.
A total of 16 projects could benefit from the money, made available through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
Over £1.8 million will be shared among eight large scale developments, which will directly safeguard over 150 jobs and create up to 21 additional roles. The biggest single award approved by the panel of judges was around £606,000 for the redevelopment of Grimsby fish market.
The MMO also agreed a further £97,000 funding through the EFF scheme during the month, for investment in 8 smaller projects such as improvements to fishing vessels in Devon, Cumbria and Cornwall and in fish processing factories in Devon and North Shields.
The total value of the projects, when other public and private sector match funding is included, is more than £4.5 million.
Catherine Murphy, Programme Manager for the European Fisheries Fund in England, said: "A number of the projects we've approved will be the first time the work has been carried out in the UK. This is encouraging news in the current economic climate and it's good to see that a significant level of private investment is continuing in our fishing industry.
"Projects don't have to be large to qualify for funding through the scheme however. The minimum cost can be around £1200 or less. I'd urge anyone who's thinking about developing their business or investing in new facilities and equipment to contact us first to see whether their idea is likely to be accepted for funding.
"We can't support work that's already been carried out, or items that have already been purchased so it's really important people speak to us before committing to anything."
So far this year a total of over £2.12 million has been agreed for funding through the EFF scheme in England.
Money is available through the scheme for fishermen, processing and aquaculture businesses, towards marketing fish products and for projects which will benefit groups, such as harbour improvements.
Applications for the fund can be made at any time, however grants over £100,000 are considered by the judging panel which sits on a quarterly basis. Applications need to be received by 11 May for consideration at the next judging panel on 6 July.