EFF funding means boost for Cornwall – Fishupdate.com

EFF funding means boost for Cornwall Published:  02 May, 2008

Jonathan Shaw

FOLLOWING an announcement related to Scotland earlier today, Defra has today launched a consultation on how £34million of funding for England’s fishing industry should be spent.

More than £7million has been earmarked for Cornwall to boost the local economy.

The funding is from the European Fisheries Fund, a grant scheme designed to help modernise and improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the fishing industry.

A formal application process for the grants will open this summer, and responses to the consultation will help to inform decisions on the priorities for funding. The types of projects eligible for funding include: modernising fishing vessels to reduce discards and minimise environmental impacts; improving product quality; and marketing fisheries products.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Shaw said:

“This funding is a real boost for the English fishing industry and local economies, and we want to start by making sure that it goes to the right places where it will have the best possible impact.”

The consultation closes on 27 June and is online at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/eufishfund-phase2/

Prior to the opening of the application process for funding, the Marine and Fisheries Agency is seeking expressions of interest. This should be in the form of a short project outline, including an estimate of the amount of funding requested, the source of match funding, and the timing of the project. Expressions of interest should be sent to: The Business Relations Team, Area 6E, 3-8 Whitehall Place, London. SW1A 2HH (email: eff.expressions@mfa.gsi.gov.uk).

The allocation of the UK’s share of the European Fisheries Fund – approximately £97million – was announced in November 2007.

The Marine and Fisheries Agency will be holding a series of public meetings in the next few months to further explain the aims of the scheme and to assist those who are considering applying for funding.

The UK Operational Programme (OP), which sets out the specific funding priorities and plans for implementation of the grant scheme, must be approved by the European Commission before the scheme can be formally launched. It is now the subject of formal discussion with the Commission which will be informed by responses to the consultation launched today. As soon as the OP is approved, which Defra anticipate will take place this summer, there will be an assessment panel in England to begin the process of awarding grants.

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