Chairmen of the major angling bodies in England have taken a major step towards a single unified body to represent all anglers. In a joint statement they said

‘We have agreed that the following bodies intend to wind up their organisations and form a single new organisation to represent all anglers.  This will be subject to each organisation passing the necessary legal and financial checks – known as ‘due diligence’.

”       Anglers’ Conservation Association
”       National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives
”       National Federation of Anglers
”       National Federation of Sea Anglers
”       Salmon and Trout Association
”       Specialist Anglers’ Alliance

The transition process is being managed by the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust, the umbrella body for fisheries and angling organisations. FACT has retained legal, financial and marketing professionals to advise on the formation of the new body.

Each of our organisations has contributed £10,000 to FACT to cover the new body’s start-up costs, a clear indication of our commitment. In addition to funding the essential due diligence much work is needed to improve marketing and our services to members.

The target date for incorporation of the new body, ie legal registration as a company, is early July with full operation by January 2009. Before then each organisation will seek approval to proceed at a general meeting –  NAFAC has already done so.

As Chairmen of long-established organisations with loyal members we have not taken this step lightly. However we all believe that a single new organisation is needed to fight for the interests of all anglers and the fisheries they enjoy. We have already received many messages of support for the move and look forward to a bright future.’

Stephen Marsh-Smith, Chairman ACA
Martin Read, Chairman NAFAC
Terry Fell, Chairman NFA
Richard Ferre, Chairman NFSA
James Carr, Chairman STA
Chris Evans, Chairman SAA

No further statements are likely while the detailed due diligence and other preparatory work continues.