What is the Angling Improvement Fund?
The Angling Trust is aware of the tremendous need for newer, safer facilities, better habitats and more accessible facilities to enable clubs, fisheries and other angling organisations to flourish and attract anglers.
Unfortunately, funding from traditional sources (e.g. local authorities) is becoming harder to find, and better-known funding schemes, such as are offered by Sport England, attract heavy competition from across all sports. For commercial fisheries, funding is even harder to come across via mainstream commercial banks.
To help increase the availability of funding for angling, the Angling Trust, supported by the Environment Agency, launched the Angling Improvement Fund, which re-invests part of the proceeds of coarse and non-migratory rod licence sales in England in projects directly benefiting anglers. It is important that all rod licence payers in England are able to benefit, so for this reason, the Fund is open to all angling clubs and associations and commercial fisheries. Angling projects and other angling organisations are also welcome to apply.
Because the money distributed as AIF awards is derived from the sale of coarse and non-migratory licences in England, projects located outside of England, projects primarily supporting salmon and sea trout angling, and sea angling organisations are not currently eligible to apply.
Between successive rounds of the Fund, we will report on how the awards are being put to good use by the winning clubs and fisheries. You can read reports about previous Fund Winners HERE.
As long as a project meets the eligibility criteria, the Angling Trust welcomes applications over from a wide range of angling providers – individually or in partnership – including clubs, commercial fisheries, charities and local authorities. Crucially, you don’t need to be an Angling Trust member club or fishery to apply.
In the latest round of funding, another £400,000 of rod licence money is being made available to AIF to support around 100 new angling projects in time for a busy spring and summer at fishing venues across the country. The deadline for applications is January 5th 2017 (NB: January 13th for the "More Coaches" awards).
The themes this time are:
Fish protection and predation management:
About 20 projects will be funded for work such as otter fencing, protection from fish-eating birds, fish refuges or even marginal planting or aerators.
Project design and development, and workforce/volunteer training:
Around 20 projects will receive grants towards the costs of design work, disability access planning, risk assessments and advice needed to get improvements to facilities off the ground. Other work in this theme can include fish stocks surveys and training for fisheries staff, club officials and volunteers.
About 20 awards will go to clubs, fisheries, local authorities, schools and other similar organisations to fund the cost of coach training and angling resources for use at sessions these new coaches will run to get more people fishing more often. The focus will be on encouraging more women, young people and disabled people to become coaches. The deadline for applications for this part of the Angling Improvement Fund is January 13th 2017.
Winter maintenance and fishery improvements:
A broad mix of proposals are invited to fund about 40 projects that identify repairs and upgrades to angling infrastructure. Applications for work such as stages, paths bridges, landscaping, toilets or washing facilities, health and safety improvements and facilities aimed at improving the experience of women, families and young people. Other ideas to consider for your fishery might be signage, protective clothing and equipment, plant hire, boats, weed control and river access improvements.
Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “The Angling Improvement Fund is just one way we use rod licence money to work with partners for the benefit of angling. This latest pot of funding is the largest yet, bringing the total awarded this year to £600,000 – so thank you to all those anglers who get behind their sport and get a licence. There is a wide range of categories for fisheries to consider applying for – from winter maintenance and fishery improvement to predation management and training volunteers.”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said: “This increase in funding is great news and another big step forward in our programme of work to improve fish and fishing. The partnership we have with the Environment Agency to deliver the National Angling Strategy is proving a great success and complements the work that we do funded by members campaigning, lobbying and, through Fish Legal, taking legal action against polluters and others who damage members’ fisheries. With more funds coming from the rod licence over the coming year, and membership of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal growing, the future looks bright for angling.”
Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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