THE Countryside Alliance Campaign for Angling has repeated its call for the Government to radically reform the way that angling development is funded.
Sport England has just published its 2005-06 investment targets, in which angling as a “development sport” will receive £135,000, less than half of that allocated to baseball/ softball or orienteering.
Anglers funded themselves to the tune of over £18 million in 2003/04 year from rod licence revenues. This money is a ring-fenced source of direct income which is ploughed straight back into conservation via the Environment Agency. The Government has also praised non-sporting, non-Government funded initiatives such Get Hooked on Fishing, which has brought children from all backgrounds into the sport of angling.
Campaign for Angling Director Charles Jardine commented: “Sport England’s funding for competition angling as a development sport is addressing only one small part of a huge angling industry. Angling’s worth should not be measured in terms of potential medals, but in terms of the benefits it brings to communities, to the economy and to the environmental health of our waterways. The Government needs to realise that they cannot shoe-horn angling into a model it simply does not, and should not, fit.
“Instead, angling should be funded according to its overall contribution. By comparison, rambling* is supported directly and indirectly by central and local government funding. The Government needs to urgently reassess its funding strategy, direct funds properly and unlock angling’s great potential with proper support.”