Unfortunately, funding from traditional sources (e.g. local authorities) is becoming harder to find, and better-known funding schemes, such as are offered by Sport England, attract heavy competition from across all sports. For commercial fisheries, funding is even harder to come across via mainstream commercial banks.
To help increase the availability of funding for angling, the Angling Trust, supported by the Environment Agency, launched the Angling Improvement Fund, which re-invests part of the proceeds of coarse and non-migratory rod licence sales in England in projects directly benefiting anglers. It is important that all rod licence payers in England are able to benefit, so for this reason, the Fund is open to all angling clubs and associations and commercial fisheries. Angling projects and other angling organisations are also welcome to apply.
Because the money distributed as AIF awards is derived from the sale of coarse and non-migratory licences in England, projects located outside of England, projects primarily supporting salmon and sea trout angling, and sea angling organisations are not currently eligible to apply.
Between successive rounds of the Fund, we will report on how the awards are being put to good use by the winning clubs and fisheries. You can read reports about previous Fund Winners HERE.
Proposals are invited for the following four types of project:
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 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 stocks surveys and training for fisheries staff, club officials and volunteers.
About 20 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 these new coaches will run to 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 proposals are invited to fund about 40 projects that identify repairs and upgrades to angling infrastructure to get fisheries ready for Spring. Applications 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.
We have deliberately invited proposals across a range of project types: with over £400,000 on offer there has never been a better time to apply for funding, whatever the size of your project.
We are especially keen (under the 'Getting Your Fishery Ready for Spring' theme) to receive proposals for quick, easily achievable projects, which, if successful, will win grants of up to £5,000. However, the judging panel also welcomes bigger projects, so long as they have strong arguments for need, quality of delivery and offer additional match-funding. Grants of up to £20,000 will be available to these larger projects.
You may apply for funding under more than one of the themes. If all of your applications are sufficiently good, and we believe you can complete them all, you may strike it lucky and win funding for all of your proposals.
Please find forms and guidance notes on the right hand column and at the bottom of this page.
Sources of Expert Advice
Seeking out the right advice before making your application will help you to set achievable goals and find ways to reach your objectives. By getting expert opinion, you are more likely to come up with a realistic plan and avoid pit-falls, both practical and legal, giving your application the best chance of gaining the funding required.
The Angling Trust has copies of the BDAA ‘Access to Angling: best practice guidance’ worth £23 each to give away on a “first-come, first-served” basis. If you would like to order a free copy for your club or fishery please contact the Fund Administrator, Mark Wilton at firstname.lastname@example.org Please remember to include your name, address and club or fishery affiliation with your request.
There are numerous organisations that will give advice freely or can be consulted about your project. You’ll find a host of information within each organisations website too. Some key organisations to seek expert advice from are:
Wild Trout Trust
Association of Rivers Trusts
River Restoration Centre
Canal and Rivers Trust
Institute of Fisheries Management
For full details and tips on applying follow - http://bit.ly/2h2tFu0