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Fisheries action group backed by Aberdeenshire Council

By Kyle Ritchie

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Aberdeenshire Council has pledged its ongoing commitment to the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) for the next three years.

Established in 2014, NESFLAG is led by the local authority with the aim of implementing European Maritime and Fisheries Funding (EMFF) to deliver local development strategies.

The partnership comprises representatives of stakeholder organisations from the private, community and public sectors and covers coastal communities in both Aberdeenshire and Angus with links – either present or historic – to the fishing industry.

Projects at Banff harbour have benefitted from the management by the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group.
Projects at Banff harbour have benefitted from the management by the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group.

Managing EMFF funding of around £1.4 million, the partnership employs a small team funded by the LEADER programme.

Members of the council’s infrastructure services committee heard that the local authority’s participation in NESFLAG remained vitally-important to both facilitate the drawdown of EMFF funding in Aberdeenshire and help in the delivery of council priorities.

Councillors heard that withdrawal from the partnership would reduce the ability of the council to influence and scrutinise partnership decisions on the award of EMFF funding and could also result in the loss of grants to Aberdeenshire if support to the partnership is withdrawn and an alternative lead partner was not found.

Chairman of the infrastructure services committee, councillor Peter Argyle, said: “I am delighted that Aberdeenshire Council has demonstrated a renewed commitment to NESFLAG as it continues to support the sustainable development of our coastal communities.”

Fisheries funding will be targeted on coastal settlements with demonstrable associations with the fisheries sector and projects which align with the priorities of each area’s local development strategy and EMFF objectives.

Committee vice-chairman, councillor John Cox, said: “NESFLAG support a wide range of projects – from adding value and promoting innovation in the fisheries and seafood supply chain to creating jobs, attracting young people and providing training in fisheries areas – which remains hugely important for our north-east communities.”

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