Angling Trust

Angling Trust wins new contract to grow the sport and support grassroots clubs and fisheries

The Angling Trust has today been awarded a new four-year National Angling Strategic Services contract (NASS3) by the Environment Agency following a competitive procurement process.

The new contract will commence on the 1st April 2024 and will run for four years during which the Angling Trust will be focussed upon the following key areas of work, which will be funded by rod licence money:

  • Introduce more people to fishing to ensure our sport grows and flourishes and more people enjoy the health and well-being benefits that angling brings.
  • Provide expert advice to grass-roots clubs and fisheries on club management and growth, protecting fisheries from predation, improving biosecurity, and issues around invasive species.
  • Administer a project fund to support the development of clubs around the country.
  • Build effective enforcement partnerships with the police, angling clubs and fishery owners through the Voluntary Bailiff Service and Building Bridges project.

Jamie Cook, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said:

“All anglers who buy a fishing rod licence deserve to have clarity on where that money is being spent and how it is impacting fish and fishing. As a not-for-profit organisation and the national governing body for fishing, the Angling Trust is focused upon re-investing licence money back into grass roots angling.

“We are delighted to be able to extend our partnership with hundreds of community clubs, coaches and fisheries across England, channelling resources to where they can have the greatest impact and get more people fishing more often. This contract will provide new resource for our incredible Reel Education programme which is taking angling into schools as part of the National Curriculum and creating a desire to try fishing in previously untapped communities.

“Our national club network and the volunteers who run them are the lifeblood of our sport. We will therefore provide a much greater emphasis on clubs and fisheries, providing more professional support and funding opportunities to help them operate more effectively, deliver better fisheries management, and create real and lasting pathways into angling.

“The funding from this new contract will also allow for the doubling of the national voluntary bailiff network to help clubs and fisheries protect their waters from poaching and fish theft as well as resource to train police forces nationwide on fisheries crime and prevention alongside EA enforcement staff.

“I firmly believe that as an organisation run by anglers for anglers, we are best placed to use this small portion of the overall rod licence income for the benefit of fish and fishing. However, it does not prevent us holding the EA to account when necessary. That’s been the case many times in recent years where we have tackled the Agency on a number of issues, including pollution, over abstraction and habitat destruction, and our sister organisation Fish Legal have taken the EA to court on behalf of ourselves and our member clubs and fisheries.”

The current National Angling Strategic Services contract is due to end on 31st March 2024 and the new contract will be on a rolling 12-month basis for a maximum of four years, with £1.77 million of rod licence income being invested in the first year. The NASS3 contract has a participation target in year 1 of engaging with 37,000 people and aims to increase the number of volunteer bailiffs to 1,400 after four years.

The contract builds on nine years of partnership work between the EA and Angling Trust which has seen a wide range of initiatives introduced such as the nationally recognised Get Fishing awards, the Voluntary Bailiff Service and the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF) which have helped to protect fisheries and promote the sport of angling throughout England.

Heidi Stone, Fisheries Manager from the Environment Agency, said:

“Our partnership with the Angling Trust has been a key asset in bettering our fisheries across the UK and improving the sport of angling for existing and new anglers.

“We are delighted to award the Angling Trust with this contract, so we can build on our previous successes and secure the best future for angling by making fishing licence income go further.”

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