The Angling Improvement Fund (AIF) has funded 54 projects to encourage freshwater fishing. The 200,000 of rod licence money will protect fisheries from predation, encourage more people to go fishing, improve facilities at clubs and fisheries and safeguard venues.
The AIF is administered by the Angling Trust in partnership with the Environment Agency. Every project has also attracted financial or in-kind support through match-funding. This means that AIF funded schemes have benefitted from over 500,000.
Sarah Chare, Deputy Director for Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said:
If you buy a rod licence from the Post Office then you are helping to protect and improve fisheries through the Angling Improvement Fund. These 54 projects will improve the facilities that anglers tell us they want most and encourage new people to try fishing.
Angling is great for peoples health and anglers help to protect the environment, so we want to get as many people involved as possible.
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said:
The Angling Improvement Fund has been a great success in ensuring that there is a transparent and fair process for clubs, fisheries and community groups to apply for the funds available. The funding awards have been given to those who can demonstrate that they will make the biggest impact for the good of fishing, not only by attracting match funding but also by working in partnership and involving the local community in their plans.
Its vital that we get the best value for money from the funds raised from anglers buying rod licences. Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to the success of the fund and I look forward to hearing about more excellent projects in the next round.
The schemes were awarded funding under the following four themes:
- Otter-proof fencing
Unsustainable predation by otters can effect angling venues and has become an issue of major concern to anglers, 8 otter-proof fencing projects from commercial fisheries and clubs were selected for funding.
- Community waters
Funding was allocated to 18 projects involving park ponds and other types of community water such as fishable rivers and canals in towns and cities. Being close to urban areas they offer unparalleled opportunities to get out fishing, safely, cheaply and close to where many people live.
- Schools and colleges
The AIF funded 7 projects connecting with children with angling, boosting confidence and offering valuable learning opportunities and life skills.
- Best unfunded proposals from previous rounds
More than 300 applications were submitted to the first 2 rounds of the AIF, many more than could be funded. The judging panel reviewed past entries and funded 21 projects, including 17 focused on junior angling.