Another £400,000 of rod licence money is being made available to the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF) to support around 160 new angling projects over the next four months in time for a busy spring and summer at fishing venues across the country.

The Angling Trust, which administers the fund on behalf of the Environment Agency, is seeking applications by January 13th from angling providers such as clubs, commercial fisheries, local authorities and charities.
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 installation of 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 stock surveys and training for fisheries staff, club officials and volunteers.

More coaches:
About 80 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 run by these new coaches to help get more people fishing more often. The focus will be on encouraging more women, young people and disabled people to become coaches.

Winter maintenance and fishery improvements:
A broad mix of around 40 projects that identify repairs and upgrades to angling infrastructure will receive funding. Applications are invited 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.

Since the AIF was launched in February 2015, rod licence income has already helped fund 119 angling projects worth more than £1.3 million. The Angling Trust will shortly be announcing the winners of this year’s spring round of funding, which was focused on access improvements for disabled anglers.

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.”

Further information and details on how to apply, including key deadlines, standard application forms, and eligibility and judging criteria for each theme, will be available on the Angling Trust website at www.anglingtrust.net/improvementfund from Friday, December 2nd.

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