£1m financial injection to benefit coastal communities

�1m has been made available to coastal communities.
�1m has been made available to coastal communities.

Businesses and community groups in coastal communities in Fife, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders will receive a £1m financial injection from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund.

The money will be available to the new Forth and Borders Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) for the period to 2020.

The funding will be used to support local development projects that help strengthen the fishing and processing sectors, diversify the maritime economy and create and sustain employment in fishing communities.

The three council areas decided to work together – creating a larger FLAG with a bigger budget and greater resources to support projects – after recognising strong links between the fishing communities around the Forth.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s spokesperson for economy and planning, said: “Funding of £1m to support the fishing industry in the area will make a real difference to the coastal communities who rely on this sector.

“It’s always positive to look at ways to work with other areas to boost output, and I look forward to hearing about the future plans for the FLAG.”

Scottish Borders Council will be the lead partner in the delivery of the funding, and will employ a fisheries funding coordinator, based in Eyemouth with flexible working facilities in East Lothian and Fife.

Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for economic development at Scottish Borders Council, said: “This is good news for our fishing communities and a great opportunity for businesses and community groups to get funding for projects that otherwise might not be eligible for additional financial support.

“I welcome the decision of the three FLAGs to come together, and wish the Forth and Borders FLAG every success in its delivery of the new programme.”